The Trail Blazers and 21 other teams will be back in action before we know it as the NBA prepares to resume the 2019-20 season in Orlando, Florida in its pursuit to crown a champion.
The NBA's restart plan is slated for July 30th, as 22 of the league's 30 teams will head to Orlando later this month to continue a season that was halted March 11 due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Trail Blazers first game will be on July 31st vs. the Memphis Grizzlies. (See below for full schedule)
Here's what you need to know for the NBA's return:
When does the NBA season resume?
After what will be a four-month hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic, the NBA's schedule for restarting the 2019-20 season will begin July 30 with 22 teams competing for the NBA championship.
Seeding games will take place from July 30-Aug. 14. Play-in tournaments are scheduled for Aug. 15-16. The NBA playoffs will begin Aug. 17.
What is the return to play format?
The 22 teams in Orlando will include the 16 clubs currently in a playoff spot -- eight from the Eastern Conference and eight from the Western Conference -- and six additional teams within six games of the No. 9 seed in their respective conference.
Each team will play eight "seeding games" to determine playoff seeding in each conference. Those games will be selected from each team's remaining regular-season matchups.
What does this mean for the Trail Blazers?
The Trail Blazers currently sit in 9th place in the Western Conference, 3.5 games behind the Memphis Grizzlies in the eight-spot. The Trail Blazers have the 5th toughest schedule among the 22 teams competing and the toughest among the teams vying for the 8th seed. Here’s how the Blazers schedule stacks up against the other playoff hopefuls.
The Trail Blazers schedule is tough, but they are hopeful with the return of Zach Collins and Jusuf Nurkic in the lineup.
Which teams will be playing in Orlando?
The Milwaukee Bucks, Toronto Raptors, Boston Celtics, Miami Heat, Indiana Pacers, Philadelphia 76ers, Brooklyn Nets, Orlando Magic and Washington Wizards will represent the Eastern Conference.
In the Western Conference, it will be the Los Angeles Lakers, LA Clippers, Denver Nuggets, Utah Jazz, Oklahoma City Thunder, Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks, Memphis Grizzlies, Portland Trail Blazers, New Orleans Pelicans, Sacramento Kings, San Antonio Spurs and Phoenix Suns.
For the Trail Blazers, both Trevor Ariza and Caleb Swanigan will NOT be joining the team in Orlando for personal reasons.
To assist in their efforts, the Trail Blazers signed Jaylen Adams from the G-League.
2020 NBA League Schedule
Here is the Blazers’ full schedule
for the team's eight seeding-round games, beginning with a July 31 matchup against the Memphis Grizzlies:
NBCSNW will carry all-eight seeding games!
Updated odds to win the 2020 NBA Championship
L.A. Lakers: +240
Milwaukee Bucks: +250
L.A. Clippers: +333
Houston Rockets: +1200
Boston Celtics: +2000
Toronto Raptors: +2200
Denver Nuggets: +2500
Philadelphia 76ers: +2800
Miami Heat: +3000
Utah Jazz: +3300
Dallas Mavericks: +4000
Portland Trail Blazers +15000
All other teams have +10000 odds or worse
The New Orleans Pelicans are chosen as the team most likely to make the postseason as a team from the outside looking in at (+275). That's partially because the casino expects the public to want to bet on Zion Williamson, one of the league's most marketable young stars, and a much-easier strength of schedule.
The remaining odds for the eighth seed in the West are the Sacramento Kings at (+1200) who are 3.5 games behind Memphis currently, San Antonio (+5000) who sits four games behind Memphis but lost LaMarcus Aldridge for the season, the Pheonix Suns (+20000) who are six games behind Memphis and the Dallas Mavericks (+50000) who are currently 7 games ahead of the Grizzlies in the standings.
As for winning the NBA Finals, the Blazers are seen as an extreme longshot at +15000, which is twice as high odds than they had earlier this month at Ceasars Palace.