The NBA’s plan to resume the 2019-20 season has been given the green light. The NBA Board of Governors approved the plan with a vote of 29-1 last Thursday, and the players’ representatives voted unanimously the following day.
It’s now just a matter of time before SBOBET NBA fans get to see the likes of LeBron James and Giannis Antetkounmpo in action once again.
But before the restarted season tips off, here’s a quick breakdown of the entire plan, as well as some of the biggest news around the league.
The NBA’s approved resumption plan
The NBA is slated to return on July 31 and will play all games at Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Only 22 teams will make the trip as this format won out over the three others in serious consideration.
Aside from the 16 current playoff teams, the New Orleans Pelicans, Portland Trail Blazers, Sacramento Kings, San Antonio Spurs, Phoenix Suns and Washington Wizards will play in Orlando. All 22 teams will still play eight regular-season games apiece to determine final playoff seedings.
Since some teams won’t get to finish with the same number of games under this format, the NBA will use winning percentage to determine the final order of the standings.
Meanwhile, the biggest change is the possibility of a play-in tournament for the eighth seed in both conferences. However, there will only be a play-in if the No. 9 seed is within four games of the No. 8 seed. The No. 9 seed will then need to beat the No. 8 seed twice to win the last playoff spot.
The playoffs will still be a best-of-seven series in each round, and the NBA Finals will go on no later than Oct. 12.
The NBA will test players for coronavirus on a nightly basis in Orlando, with tests returning the following morning. Anyone who tests positive will need to go into quarantine for at least seven days.
The NBA is still working on ways to replace players who test positive or suffer serious injuries in the Orlando bubble environment.
While there aren’t expected to be limitations on the number of players a team could sign, teams could have a limited pool of eligible players to choose from.
Other eight NBA teams still want to play
The NBA’s decision to have only 22 teams playing in Orlando was disappointing to the eight other teams — the Hawks, Cavs, Bulls, Hornets, Pistons, Knicks, Timberwolves, and Warriors — who still wanted to resume play, in part to help the development of their younger players.
And since those teams are not taking part in the league’s bubble tournament, they are reportedly looking for other ways to get back on the court.
Among the ideas presented to the NBA were: A combination of voluntary and mandatory workouts for two weeks in July; regional minicamps in August; organized team activities (OTAs) for mid-September; training camps that start 7-10 days earlier than teams in Orlando.
Some of these teams have expressed concern that the significant time without playing would negatively affect the development of their young players. The eight teams not in Orlando haven’t played since the league shut down in March and are facing the possibility of going nine months without playing competitive basketball.
Kevin Durant not coming back for the NBA playoffs
The Brooklyn Nets are going to Orlando as the current No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference and look likely to make it to the playoffs. However, they won’t have Kevin Durant to help them when they get there.
Durant, who has missed the entire season due to a torn Achilles, made big NBA 2020 news by confirming that he will not make a comeback with the Nets in the playoffs.
“My season is over,” Durant told The Undefeated’s Marc Spears. “I don’t plan on playing at all. We decided last summer when it first happened that I was just going to wait until the following season. I had no plans of playing at all this season.”
Durant hasn’t suited up since suffering his Achilles injury playing for the Golden State Warriors in the 2019 NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors last June. He left the Warriors in free agency that offseason to team up with Kyrie Irving on the Nets.
Irving also missed most of the season due to injury, including a shoulder injury which required surgery in March. But while both have indicated recently that they are aching to return, neither will do so in this postseason.
Instead, the Nets will continue to rely on Spencer Dinwiddie and Caris LeVert to lead them in the playoffs. But clearly, their NBA 2020 betting odds to make it past the first round won’t be great without their two superstars.
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