It’s been building in multiple reports over the past couple of weeks. Commissioner Adam Silver, the National Basketball Players Association, and the league’s Board of Governors have been gaining traction on a return-to-play to finish the 2019-20 season, and it seems like the final domino for the plan will fall tomorrow. The Board of Governors have a call scheduled for 9:30 a.m. PST on Thursday, June 4th, where it’s being reported by Adrian Wojnarowski/ESPN that they intend to approve the proposed plan from Adam Silver.
The NBA's Board of Governors has a 12:30 PM ET call on Thursday with the intention of approving the league's plan for a 22-team return-to-play in Orlando, sources tell ESPN. https://t.co/Sh7k6ylCdz
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 3, 2020
- 22 teams will be playing in the “bubble city” in Orlando. This includes the 16 teams currently in playoff spots, with the remaining six teams being comprised of the six best records outside of the 16 playoff teams. Those eight teams include the New Orleans Pelicans, Portland Trail Blazers, Phoenix Suns, Sacramento Kings, San Antonio Spurs, and Washington Wizards (five Western Conference teams and one Eastern Conference team).
- Each of the 22 teams will play eight regular-season games prior to the playoffs. A play-in tournament for the 8th seed in each conference will work as follows, per Shams Charania/The Athletic:
If the ninth seed is more than four games behind the eighth seed, the eighth seed earns the playoff spot; if the ninth seed is four or fewer games behind, then the eighth and ninth seed will enter a play-in tournament that is double-elimination for the eighth seed and single-elimination for ninth.
- Teams will train at their respective team sites towards the beginning of July, with a two-and-a-half week training camp in Orlando being reported by Jeff Zillgitt/USA Today Sports. This will lead to the start of the games, July 31st. Game 7 of the NBA Finals will happen no later than October 12th.
- In regards to safety measures being taken in light of COVID-19, there will be daily, uniform testing in the Disney campus environment. Players and coaches will be allowed to golf and eat on the premises, but will have to maintain social distancing protocols. If a player tested positive for coronavirus, the intent would be to quarantine that player from everyone else and to treat them individually.
- The Lakers will win the NBA Finals no matter what*
*This was added by myself, as a joke. However, NBA championship odds show that the Lakers are still one of the favorites to win it all this year. There hasn’t been any new injuries since March 11th so hopefully the team plays just as well as they did before the season got suspended. Hopefully the players have been training during quarantine.
Get ready everyone, the NBA returns in less than two months.