The NBA has recently begun playing warm-up matches to prepare for the onslaught of games that will begin on July 31st.
But although we know where and when the NBA will be played, let’s take a look at just how the revamped format will operate.
Let’s dive right in.
So as we are all aware, the NBA will restart competitive fixtures on July 31st. That is, without any further delays due to the current world climate.
All teams have been reloacted to Orlando, Florida where all matches will take place. This move will allow teams to play matches regularly, as well as reducing the risk of players contracting the virus by not having to travel across the country.
Only 22 teams will be playing. The teams with the best records will enter the ‘Bubble‘, regardless of what conference they’re from. The 22 best win/loss records, essentially.
The Western Conference, as a result will feature more sides, with 13 of the 22. The Eastern Conference, therefore will feature only 9 sides.
Western Conference teams (in standings order):
- Los Angeles Lakers
- Los Angeles Clippers
- Denver Nuggets
- Utah Jazz
- Oklahoma City Thunder
- Houston Rockets
- Dallas Mavericks
- Memphis Grizzlies
- Portland Trail Blazers
- New Orleans Pelicans
- Sacramento Kings
- San Antonio Spurs
- Phoenix Suns
Eastern Conference teams (in standings order):
- Milwaukee Bucks
- Toronto Raptors
- Boston Celtics
- Miami Heat
- Indiana Pacers
- Philadelphia 76ers
- Brooklyn Nets
- Orlando Magic
- Washington Wizards
Each of these NBA franchises will resume with the same W/L records that they had at the suspension of the season. They will also be allowed a maximum of 17 players in the ‘Bubble’, as per the revised roster rules.
They will all play eight seeding games that will decide the layout of the Playoffs. Although each team will play these eight games, this will result in not every team finishing on the same amount of regular season games.
The NBA Playoffs will start on August 17, which we’re sure is something basketball fans have been frothing since the news of the restart surfaced. Each matchup will consist of the standard 7 game format.
Each side will have to play in front of an empty arena, with no fans permitted entry until at least the end of the NBA Finals in October.
Although it’s hardly a perfect scenario, like with all major sports, we’ve just got to roll with the hits and be happy to have live, elite sport back up and running.
With no Golden State for the first time in what feels like a decade, it will be compelling viewing for NBA fans around the world. The field is wide open and this makeshift setup will make it interesting to see who comes out on top of the Orlando mountain.