The NBA reportedly has settled on a plan to resume the 2019-20 season, and it's pretty fascinating.
The NBA plans to propose a 22-team format for a resumed season in a Board of Governors meeting Thursday, The Athletic's Shams Charania reported Wednesday.
The league is targeting a July 31 date to resume the season, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, who added Wednesday that all 22 teams would play eight regular-regular season games at Orlando's Walt Disney World to determine playoff seeding under this format.
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The Boston Celtics had 18 regular-season games remaining before the NBA halted its season on March 11 due to the coronavirus pandemic. The C's currently own the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference and are three games behind the No. 2 seed Toronto Raptors and 2.5 games ahead of the No. 4 seed Miami Heat.
In addition to the 16 teams currently in playoff spots (eight from each conference), five Western Conference teams and one East team will head to Disney World to battle for a playoff berth in their respective conferences, per Wojnarowski.
Sources: Joining the 16 current playoff teams in Orlando: New Orleans, Portland, Phoenix, Sacramento and San Antonio in the West and Washington in the East. If the 9th seed is more than 4 games behind the 8th, No. 8 makes playoffs; Fewer than 4 games, a play-in tournament.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 3, 2020
The Blazers, Pelicans, Kings, Spurs and Suns all are within six games of the No. 8 seed Memphis Grizzlies in the West, while the Wizards are 5.5 games back of the No. 8 seed Magic in the East.
In both conferences, if the No. 9 seed is at least four games behind the No. 8 seed after the eight regular season games, the No. 8 seed will automatically move on to the playoffs. If not, the teams would have a play-in tournament that's double-elimination for the No. 8 seed and single-elimination for the No. 9 seed, per Charania.
Under the current seeding, the Celtics would face No. 6 seed Philadelphia 76ers in the first round of the playoffs. The Sixers have the same record as the Indiana Pacers, though, so a lot could change in eight games' time.
The Board of Governors is expected to approve this plan in Thursday's call, per Wojnarowski, so it's very possible we'll see the NBA return beginning July 31.