The NBA is back.
On Thursday, the league's Board of Governors agreed to a return-to-play plan in which teams will stay in a bubble environment in Orlando, Fla. The league has been suspended since March 11 due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver statement on league approval of 22-team format to resume 2019-20 season: pic.twitter.com/5rC2vTeIwF— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 4, 2020
So, the NBA is back but what does that look like?
Here's a simple breakdown.
The NBA will return July 31 with a 22-team league. There will be no fans at the games and guests reportedly won't be allowed until the playoffs. The 16 teams who currently are in the playoffs along with the Kings, Portland Trail Blazers, New Orleans Pelicans, San Antonio Spurs, Washington Wizards and Phoenix Suns will make the journey to Florida. The season is over for the other eight teams, including the Warriors.
Once the season restarts, there will be eight "seeding games" to determine the playoff picture. The schedule is set to be released Tuesday. Teams will play the remaining teams on their schedule who also are in Orlando. There is no word yet on how this will impact the draft lottery.
After those eight "seeding games," there is the possibility for a play-in tournament for the No. 8 seed. If the No. 9 seed is within four games of the eight seed, the two will play for the right to be in the playoffs. It will be single elimination for the No. 9 seed and double elimination for the No. 8 seed. There is no word yet on what will happen if multiple Western Conference teams are tied for the No. 9 seed.
As of right now, the Wizards will enter the restart five-and-a-half games back of the No. 8 seed Orlando Magic. In the Western Conference, the Kings, Blazers and Pelicans all are three-and-a-half back of the Memphis Grizzlies, while the Spurs are four back and the Suns are six off the pace.
The NBA then will hold its playoffs as normal, with four best-of-seven rounds.
The possibility of warm-up games still is being finalized.
This story will be updated as more information becomes available.
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