Last week, the NBA officially announced that the season was to be completed by mid October at a hub established at Disney World in orlando Florida.
Here’s the full report…
NBA to restart season in Disney World hub as top 22 teams aim to complete season by mid-October
The NBA has approved a plan to restart the suspended 2019-20 season at a designated hub at Disney World in Florida, with a tentative start date of July 31.
- NBA franchises voted near-unanimously to restart the season at Disney World in Florida
- The 16 teams currently in playoff positions and the six teams closest to breaking in will see out the season
- The league is hoping to be able to start the 2020-21 season on December 1
The plan would see 22 of the NBA’s 30 teams play eight seeding games to determine a 16-team playoff field that would follow the traditional post-season format, with four best-of-seven series that would crown a champion no later than October 12.
“While the COVID-19 pandemic presents formidable challenges, we are hopeful of finishing the season in a safe and responsible manner based on strict protocols now being finalised with public health officials and medical experts,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver said.
The league said approval from its board of governors, which came on the day originally scheduled for the start of the NBA Finals, is the first formal step among the many required to resume the season.
According to ESPN, the vote on the format was 29-1, with the Portland Trail Blazers voting against the proposal.
All games, practices and housing would be at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, which is inside Disney’s Orlando resort and has multiple hotels and arenas and would allow the league to limit outside exposure.
The NBA was the first North American sports league to suspend its season due to the COVID-19 pandemic after one of its players tested positive for the new coronavirus in mid-March with five weeks remaining in the 82-game regular season.
The 22 returning teams would be comprised of the eight teams from each of the two conferences currently in playoff positions plus the six clubs that are six games or fewer behind the eighth seed in their respective conferences.
At the conclusion of the seeding games, the seven teams in each conference with the best combined records across regular-season games and seeding games would qualify for the playoffs.
A play-in tournament would be used to determine the final playoff seed in each conference if the team with the eighth-best combined record is four games or fewer ahead of the team with the ninth-best combined record in the same conference.
The Minnesota Timberwolves, one of the teams excluded from the NBA’s return-to-play plan because of their record, expressed disappointment at not being able to play more games but said they understood and accepted the decision.
“It is important that we be a good teammate not only to the NBA, but to the other 29 teams to support the efforts to complete this season and prepare for next season in a healthy and safe manner,” the Timberwolves said in a statement.
If everything goes according to plan, the NBA said the 2020-21 season would begin on December 1.
The league also said it planned to hold its 2020 NBA Draft Lottery to determine the order of the first 14 selections on August 25. Lottery teams would be comprised of the eight clubs that do not participate in the restart and the six that go to Florida but do not qualify for the playoffs.
The actual NBA Draft, typically held in June, is now scheduled for October 15.
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