NBA expected to continue the season with 22 teams
The NBA's return amid the coronavirus pandemic is imminent, however, it could only be with 22 teams in the month of July. According to reports in ESPN and The Athletic, NBA's Board of Governors is expected to approve a league proposal that would restart the season in Orlando utilizing a 22-team format. Here's more on the same.
Three-fourths of the 30 NBA teams must ratify the proposal
NBA is poised to give the green light to commissioner Adam Silver's return of basketball which would begin July 31 nd end in mid-October with a champion being crowned. Three-fourths of the 30 NBA teams must also ratify the proposal. The decision is set to be made Thursday, as per ESPN.
How could things pan out?
The report adds that the new plan would see 13 Western Conference teams and nine Eastern Conference teams play eight regular-season games, before beginning the playoffs. The top eight teams in both conferences will be a part of the 22 teams playing. The remaining six teams will be those within six games of eighth place.
Teams that currently hold the playoff spots
Eastern Conference: Milwaukee Bucks, Toronto Raptors, Boston Celtics, Miami Heat, Indiana Pacers, Philadelphia 76ers, Nets and Orlando Magic. Western Conference: Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, Denver Nuggets, Utah Jazz, Oklahoma City Thunder, Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks and Memphis Grizzlies.
The 16 playoff teams will be joined by these sides
Meanwhile, the 16 teams currently in the playoff picture will be joined by New Orleans Pelicans, Portland Trail Blazers, Phoenix Suns, Sacramento Kings and San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference. In the East, the Washington Wizards are also included. Once it becomes official, the format would bring an end to the season for eight teams languishing outside the top 22.
Safety criteria to be followed by the league
The restart will include a two-week quarantine for players in their home cities, one to two weeks of workouts at team facilities followed by two-week training camps. The NBA wants to have daily testing and if a player tests positive he would be isolated and quarantined. The others would carry on playing while still being tested on a daily basis.
NBA held talks to resume season at Disney's sports complex
Earlier, it was reported that the National Basketball Association had entered into exploratory conversations with the Walt Disney Company about restarting the remainder of its season at Disney's ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida. Meanwhile, teams were said to be expecting the league to instruct them to start recalling players to their team's markets around June 1.