NBA To Restart With 22 Teams On July 31
The NBA Board of Governors have approved a competitive format to restart the 2019-20 season with 22 teams at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports complex at Disney World in Orlando, Florida.
The approval from the board is the first formal step among many required to resume the season, with the NBA currently working to finalise a comprehensive restart plan with the National Basketball Players’ Association (NBPA).
With 22 out of 30 total teams returning, the 16 teams (eight per conference) in current playoff positions as well as the six teams in the league that are currently six games or fewer behind the eighth seed in their respective conferences.
NBA commissioner, Adam Silver, said each returning team will play eight seeding games marked as remaining regular-season matchups, before a potential play-in tournament to determine the eighth playoff seed could take place.
“The Board’s approval of the restart format is a necessary step toward resuming the NBA season,” Silver said.
“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 finalized with public health officials and medical experts.
“We also recognize that as we prepare to resume play, our society is reeling from recent tragedies of racial violence and injustice, and we will continue to work closely with our teams and players to use our collective resources and influence to address these issues in very real and concrete ways,” he said.
The NBA also announced the NBA Finals would end no later than October 12, with the 2020 NBA Draft to be held on October 15 and the 2020-21 NBA regular season would likely be pushed back to start on December 1, 2020.
The proposal of a play-in tournament for the last seeding position in the playoffs would only take place if the team with the eighth-best combined record in its conference is four games or fewer ahead of the team with the ninth-best combined record in the same conference.