The NBA’s board of governors plan on approving the league’s proposal of a 22-team return in Orlando, Florida beginning July 31 on Thursday.
So the NBA’s inviting 22 teams to Orlando: 13 Western Conference, 9 Eastern Conference. Eight-regular season games per team. Play-in for the 8th seeds. July 31-October 12. Vote tomorrow to ratify.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 3, 2020
The NBA’s back.
The play-in format requires a double-elimination format for the 8th seed, a single-elimination for the 9th seed, per sources.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 3, 2020
The six additional teams joining the top eight seeded teams from each conference are all within six games of the eight seeds, five of them in the West. Here is a look at the current standings of the 22 teams heading to Orlando:
The eight regular season games will play importance when it comes to seeding for all 22 teams, not just those fighting for a playoff spot. Milwaukee is the team that is the most safe considering their record because they are ahead of Toronto by 6.5 games, but they still must win to solidify that spot.
Although, one question that could be raised is how important is seeding now that all games are being played at a neutral site. Home court advantage is a huge part of a playoff series, but now it is meaningless. Seeding is still important, though, regarding which teams they will have to go through throughout the playoffs. For instance, the Bucks would much rather play Orlando or Washington in the first round rather than Brooklyn or Philly. So, it is in every teams best interest to fight for the best seed possible.
This format seems as if it is the most fair outcome for teams that were realistically pushing for a playoff spot. Teams like Chicago, Charlotte, and Minnesota will be left out, but they had a very slim chance of making the playoffs anyway.
The play-in tournament for the eight and nine seeds followed by the eight regular season games was a smart move to include in the league’s proposal to the board. It will add an extra element of entertainment for fans and on the league’s behalf, of course, will create more revenue.
Players, coaches, and team personnel will make their way down to Florida in early to mid-July to begin preparing for the return of the season. They will be practicing social distancing and following all safety protocols provided whether that be wearing masks walking around, curfews, daily COVID-19 testing, and so on.
According to sources from ESPN, if a player is tested positive for the virus, they will be removed effective immediately and treated individually and continue to test other team members as they play on.
The NBA has been on hold since March 11th. The news of a return is long overdue and basketball fans around the world have longed to hear it. The set date of July 31st for a return will mark over four months without the NBA.