NBA hopes to restart its season by late July: report

May 27 2020, 4:42 pm

The NBA is looking to play meaningful games as early as late July, according to a report from The Athletic’s Shams Charania.

Similar to the NHL’s return-to-play plan, the NBA is looking to have training camps at each team’s home city in early July, before restarting the season by late July or early August.

The NBA plans to play all its games at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports Complex located at Disney World in Orlando, in order to limit travel and keep players in a metaphorical bubble.

Unlike the NHL, the NBA hasn’t decided on a format yet. They could decide to finish the regular season (perhaps in an abbreviated format) to determine playoff teams in each conference, or simply move ahead with the 16-team tournament right away — possibly seeding teams 1-16, ignoring the East/West conference divide.

Under the 1-16 seeding format, the Toronto Raptors, with the third-best record in the NBA, would play the No. 14 seeded Memphis Grizzlies in the first round. A traditional playoff format would see the Raptors (No. 2 in the East) face the Brooklyn Nets (No. 7).

There’s also been talk of having an expanded 20-team tournament, in order to include the Portland Trail Blazers, New Orleans Pelicans, Sacramento Kings, and San Antonio Spurs — four teams that trail the Grizzlies by just four games or fewer for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

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