The NBA is back! After shutting down on March 11th, the NBA community is reporting that the league will come back at the end of July. The league is voting tomorrow, June 4th, to approve the plan they have in place … and the rumor is the owners will approve it. We haven’t had any NBA action for almost three months. By the time the NBA is back on July 31, 142 days will have passed since March 11.
NBA robot/reporter Woj dropped the bomb on twitter earlier. The plan is as follows:
- Training camp begins in early July, ramps up throughout the month
- Start date: July 31st
- 22 Teams invited
- 13 West Teams
- 9 East Teams
- 8 games before playoffs begin
- Games will be played all day, summer league style
- Play-in tournament for 8th seed
- Double elimination
- If 9th seed is more than 4 games back, 8th seed wins the spot
All of the games will be played in Orlando at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, creating a bubble-like, Olympic-village style atmosphere. The logistics of this will be pretty crazy and I am very excited to hear how all of this will go down.
Here are some of the questions that have popped into my brain since hearing the news hours ago:
- What will be the deal with testing?
- Sources: The NBA is planning to have uniform, daily testing for the coronavirus within the Disney campus environment (ESPN).
- How many coaches and personnel can teams bring?
- Will all of the team’s announcers go or will they broadcast games remotely?
- Will someone punch Rudy Gobert?
- What happens if someone tests positive for COVID?
- Sources: If a player tests positive for the virus, the league’s intent would be to remove that player from the team to quarantine and treat individually — and continue to test other team members as they play on (ESPN).
- What about home court?
- How can fans get more involved?
The last one is really intriguing because a huge part of the playoffs is the home crowds. Ask anyone who lives in Oakland, or Boston. Even my hometown of Los Angeles has really stepped up when it comes to the atmosphere at Staples Center. Now, teams that have worked their ass off all season long to get the top seeds, will have no fans cheering them on.
Since the league took a break, I can really only remember that the Lakers, Clippers and Bucks (and MyPlayer in 2K) are good. So … let’s take a look at where the league left off back in March. I know I need a refresher
Teams that Clinched
These teams have already clinched a postseason appearance and have been invited to Orlando:
Milwaukee Bucks, LA Lakers, Toronto Raptors, Boston Celtics
Teams Currently In Postseason Contention
These teams are all currently in playoff contention and have been invited to Orlando:
LA Clippers, Denver Nuggets, Utah Jazz, Oklahoma City Thunder, Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks, Memphis Grizzlies, Miami Heat, Indiana Pacers, Philadelphia 76ers, Brooklyn Nets, and Orlando Magic
These teams are currently not in playoff contention are within six games of the 8th seed, so they have been invited to Orlando:
New Orleans Pelicans, Portland Trailblazers, San Antonio Spurs, Sacramento Kings, Phoenix Suns, and Washington Wizards
NBA Standings (as of Mar 11)
- Bucks (53-12)*
- Raptors (46-18)*
- Celtics (43-21)*
- Heat (41-24)*
- Pacers (39-26)*
- 76ers (39-26)*
- Nets (30-34)
- Magic (30-35)
- Wizards (24-40)
Hornets (23-42) Bulls (22-43) Knicks (21-45) Pistons (20-46)
- Lakers (49-14)*
- Clippers (44-20)*
- Nuggets (43-22)*
- Jazz (41-23)*
- Thunder (40-24)*
- Rockets (40-24)*
- Mavericks (40-27)
- Grizzlies (32-33)
- Blazers (29-37)
- Pelicans (28-36)
- Kings (28-36)
- Spurs (27-36)
- Suns (26-39)
What about the rest?
There are 30 teams in the league — so if 22 got the invite to Orlando, that means eight teams are left pondering “what could have been”. Teams that have not been invited to Orlando have been in contact with the league and there are rumors of summer training camps and other regional activities that could keep the players engaged … and the fans interested. Let’s bid a fond farewell to the following teams in 2019/20.
- Hornets (23-42)
- Bulls (22-43)
- Knicks (21-45)
- Pistons (20-46)
- Hawks (20-47)
- Cavs (19-46)
- Wolves (19-45)
- Warriors (15-50)
Will you miss these teams? Which teams are you the most excited about seeing again? Hit me up on Twitter on IG and let me know!