After suspending play in March due to the coronavirus, the NBA has been working toward a solution to resume play. After extensive talks, a concrete plan has been put on the table by commissioner Adam Silver.
On Thursday, the NBA’s Board Of Governors approved of the idea to resume play. The league will have a 16-team playoff, including eight teams in the Eastern Conference and eight teams in the Western Conference.
Although the idea of a 16-team playoff has been approved, the regular season will not be standard play. In total, 22 teams will be playing to determine playoff seeding for the format.
Outside of the 16 playoff teams in each conference, New Orleans, Portland, Phoenix, Sacramento, San Antonio, and Washington will be joining them in hopes to grab the final spot in their respective conferences.
Washington will be joining Boston, Orlando Toronto, Miami, Philadelphia Brooklyn Milwaukee and Indiana who were all in a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference when the league suspended play in March.
Meanwhile in the West, New Orleans, Portland, Phoenix Sacramento and San Antonio will be joining Denver, Utah, Oklahoma City, Houston, Dallas, Memphis, Los Angeles Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers who were all in a playoff spot in the Western Conference when the league suspended play.
In this format, if the ninth seed finishes the shorten regular season at least four games ahead of the eighth seed, both teams will have to play in a play-in series to determine which team gets the final spot in their respective conferences. In this scenario, the ninth seed has to beat the eighth seed twice in a row to get the final seed in their respective conferences.
Outside of the playoff format, the NBA also decided to approve the idea of playing the rest of the season in Orlando, Florida at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
Although the league has decided on how to continue the season, there were talks that the NBA to do something similar to the NHL in which the regular season would end immediately.
Even though the NBA has a plan to finish off the season in Orlando, some players are expecting a scenario where their families won’t be able to be with them until at least September for safety precautions.
Before the playoffs start, the NBA is giving teams time to get back together and prepare for competitive gameplay. Several teams such as Boston, Philadelphia, Houston, Portland, and Denver have been approved by their states to open their practice facility.
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