NBA Status and Return Date | Coranavirus (COVID-19) Update
One of the sports most affected by forced stoppage due to the Covid-19 pandemic was NBA basketball. At the time of the suspension of the season, the teams entered the final stretch of the regular season, where they were fighting for home advantage in the playoffs, and of course, the last places in the postseason were red hot.
NBA Status and Return Date
After much study and waiting time, the NBA seems to have found the solution for the 2020 season to have a monarch. However, there will be radical changes in the format, marking a historic date in basketball.
Agreed to restart on July 31, the NBA will have a new work scheme, which will involve the 22 teams invited to play at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex, under different tests and regulations until the end of the season, which may be expands through October 12 in Orlando.
Given this, the new structure will have as participants nine teams from the Eastern Conference, and 13 from the Western Conference. This “disparity” comes as a result of the possibility of the teams to qualify for the playoffs according to their record.
On March 11, when the season was paused, two things were almost confirmed, and that is that the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers would head their respective conferences.
The new phase will consist of eight regular-phase games, also known as positioning games, where the positions for the final postseason will be decided. This calendar will be derived from the original.
Now, the playoffs will also change. Usually, the top eight of each conference meet in rounds until the representative from both the east and west decide to play the finals.
This time, it will change. The top seven teams in each conference (based on the regular season record plus eight ranking games) will have their playoff spot. For eighth place, there is a possible tie-break criteria, which may well be played even in a direct elimination tournament.
This direct elimination tournament is canceled if the eighth position is higher than the ninth in more than four games on the record. Otherwise, the eighth and ninth franchises in the rankings must win two games out of each other to claim the last and precious place in the postseason.
Now, the playoffs as such will operate under the same format that we have witnessed in the regular season. That is, rounds to the best of seven games with the keys outlined according to the positions of each conference.
Those franchises that will not participate in the NBA restart, along with the six that will be out of the postseason will be the teams that will have teams belonging to the NBA Draft lottery for the 2021 season.
The usual favorites remain as such, the Milwaukee Bucks seemed like an unstoppable force in the east and no one can see who can stop them. On the other hand, in the Western conference, the two Los Angeles teams seem destined to battle for the right to go to the finals, where they would be favorites as well.
However, having a break of more than four months, fitness, competitive pace and chemistry are issues to consider that can exponentially or even sepulchrally limit a team. This gives room for possible surprises, where teams like the Philadelphia 76ers or Dallas Mavericks can be black horses in their respective conferences and ruin more than one party.
There is still just over a month to see the NBA in action, but having a champion is something that fills the eyes of many fans and when they come rested, but with the urgency of victories, the intensity will be monumental.