Everything appears to be on the table for the NBA with the season on hiatus because of the coronavirus pandemic.
If the league is able to resume play, a modified postseason in Las Vegas is reportedly a possibility.
While The New York Post’s Marc Berman reported there had also been discussion about holding the playoffs in the Bahamas, Atlantic City, Hawaii and Louisville, Las Vegas would be a logical spot. The city hosts summer league competition and would theoretically have the necessary infrastructure.
According to Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix, “Quarantining in one location is the only solution, and Vegas is the only city the NBA is currently giving any kind of serious consideration.”
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski has also reported that Las Vegas is a destination the league has discussed, with the possibility of playing games in ballrooms with basketball courts.
“Las Vegas has been a destination that has been discussed, built around the idea of literally perhaps using a casino, playing games in potentially a ballroom with courts. There’s lots of different scenarios …”— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 31, 2020
—@wojespn on how the NBA may try to make its initial return pic.twitter.com/KfFg6Nb8CU
Last week, Jabari Young of CNBC laid out a plan for a truncated postseason that, he said, is one of the options being considered.
The NBA could decide to cancel the remainder of its regular season and create a play-in tournament for lower-seeded teams to enter the postseason. The league could then set up a best-of-five series for the first round, before moving to a one-and-done tournament to determine the two teams that will play in the NBA Finals, which would also be a best-of-five, people familiar with the planning said.
With this highly fluid, unprecedented situation, it’s difficult to be very certain of anything. While the NBA would like to complete the year in some way, it appears very unlikely there would be a “normal” conclusion to the season.
In fact, Mannix reports “any chance of a traditional postseason is out.”
The league would presumably want to be confident in the health and safety of everyone involved — players, coaches, officials, support staff, camera operators, hotel employees, etc. — before it would resume play. In the event that proves doable, playing in Las Vegas seems like a popular option.
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