NBA season restart: Everything you need to know
The NBA 2019-20 season is set to resume on July 30. The season went on hiatus on March 11 due to the coronavirus pandemic. On June 4, the NBA's Board of Governors approved a competitive format for the season's restart with 22 teams returning to action. Here's everything you need to know about the NBA season restart.
Eastern Conference: Milwaukee Bucks, Toronto Raptors, Boston Celtics, Miami Heat, Indiana Pacers, Philadelphia 76ers, Brooklyn Nets, Orlando Magic, Washington Wizards. Western Conference: Los Angeles Lakers, LA 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.
The NBA and Disney had reached an agreement to have games played at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Florida. The venues for all games will be inside the Arena, Field House and Visa Athletic Center. There will be no fans in attendance due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
There will be stringent health and safety protocols in place. The competition will be at a single-site campus at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. 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.
Eight seeding games will be added to the teams' regular-season game total. The seven teams in each conference with the best records will clinch a playoff spot. That will comprise of regular-season games alongside the seeding games as well. The seven teams will have the usual tie-breaker scenario. Meanwhile, the eighth seed could potentially come down to a play-in tournament.
The eighth seed must be more than four games ahead of the ninth seed in its conference. In this scenario, there will be no play-in tournament. However, if the team with the eighth-best record in its conference is four games or fewer ahead of the side with the ninth-best record, then there will be a battle between these two teams for the final spot.
Once the 16-team playoff field is set, the NBA playoffs will proceed in a traditional conference-based format. It will feature the usual best-of-seven series in the first round, conference semi-finals, conference finals, followed by the NBA Finals. The first round starts August 17. The conference semi-finals begin August 31. The conference finals begin September 15. Lastly, the NBA Finals begin September 30.