It's going to be difficult for the NBA to give the top seeds in each conference the advantage they deserve when the 2019-20 season resumes at Walt Disney World in Florida next month.
The biggest advantage teams earn from finishing as a No. 1 seed is home court advantage, which is pretty important in pro basketball. Just look at the Game 7s throughout NBA playoff history -- home teams have won a large majority of these pivotal matchups, including a 20-8 record since the beginning of 2010.
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Home court advantage won't be possible in Orlando because every team will be playing in the same central location due to the COVID-19 pandemic. So, how can the league reward the top seeds? A few interesting -- and even crazy -- ideas have been floated.
However, it does appear the league is assigning the best hotels to the top seeds. The Athletic's Shams Charania reported Tuesday night the hotel assignments for each of the 22 teams involved in the league's return to play plan. The top seeds, including the Boston Celtics, will stay at the Grand Destino.
Sources: NBA teams Disney hotels based on seeding:
-Grand Destino: Bucks, Lakers, Raptors, Clippers, Celtics, Nuggets, Jazz, Heat
-Grand Floridian: Thunder, 76ers, Rockets, Pacers, Mavericks, Nets, Grizzlies, Magic
-Yacht Club: Blazers, Kings, Pelicans, Spurs, Suns, Wizards— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 16, 2020
The list of hotel amenities also is pretty impressive. Charania tweeted the details:
In NBA's ORL campus:— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 16, 2020
- Hotel amenities: players-only lounge (NBA 2K, TVs, gaming), pool/trails, barbers, manicurists, pedicurists
- 24-hour VIP concierge
- Daily entertainment: Movie screenings, DJ sets, video games, ping pong, pool, lawn games
- Players can attend other games
The league reportedly is expected to begin training camps on July 9, with the eight seeding games (remainder of the regular season) for each team starting on July 30. The play-in tournaments would be held Aug. 15-16, per reports, and the playoffs would commence Aug. 17.