If the majority of NBA general managers have their way, the league will resume with teams playing a handful of regular season games before entering an expanded postseason.
According to Shams Charania, 60 percent of the NBA GMs surveyed by the league were in favor of a 72-game season.
Also, 83 percent supported a “playoffs plus” format that would allow teams beyond the top 16 to partake in postseason play.
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An expanded regular season would afford the Celtics a chance to improve their current playoff position (No. 3 in the East) and in doing so, open the postseason with a more favorable first-round matchup.
If the playoffs started today, Boston would open up against Philadelphia, which defeated the Celtics in three of their four regular season matchups.
The Celtics' chances of first-round success would be enhanced if they faced a Brooklyn team minus Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant (both unlikely to play in the postseason) or possibly Orlando, rather than a Sixers team that would be led by a well-rested Joel Embiid and a healthy Ben Simmons.
Having a few games under their belt before the playoffs would also strengthen the Celtics’ chemistry, which will be different now than it was for most of the regular season.
Kemba Walker arrived in town as an All-Star who would be the team’s go-to guy, the player that everyone leaned on in a pinch.
And while Boston still leans on him down the stretch, this team belongs to Jayson Tatum who has blossomed into a player that many anticipate will be in the league MVP conversation for years to come.
His evolution into the face of the franchise and how those around him adapt to this new normal for Celtics basketball, could benefit from a few tune-up games before jumping into the heart of playoff basketball.
Also according to Charania, about half of the GMs surveyed (53 percent) wanted to go straight to the playoffs. A significantly smaller number (27 percent) wanted to resume an abbreviated season with a play-in format. And as for non-playoff teams, they were apparently split on resuming the season.