Key details for NBA 2020-21 season, schedule, play-in tournament, more


We finally received more key details for the NBA’s 2020-21 season.

The league on Tuesday announced what their structure and format will look like for its 75th season, set to begin Dec. 22. This season will be condensed by 10 games, as each team is slated to play 72.


The schedule is set to be released in two different segments – the first half is expected to be announced around the start of training camp, while the second will be distributed nearing the midway point of the season. If any games in the first half are postponed for any reason, it will be taken into account for the scheduling of the second half. Here is how the schedule breaks down:

  • Each team will play three games against each intraconference opponent (42 total games per team)
  • Each pairing will feature either two home/one road games or one home/two road games. Within each division, the league office has assigned at random which two opponents will be played twice at home and on the road.
  • All teams from within a division will play all teams from one other intraconference division. This will be done twice at home and all teams from the remaining intraconference division will be played twice on the road.
  • Every team will play two games against each interconference opponent (30 games total per team). This will include one home and one road game.

Will there be an All-Star break?

Yes. The All-Star break is currently scheduled to take place March 5-10, 2021 – in between the first and second half of the season.

Current playoff situation

On Tuesday, the NBA Board of Governors unanimously approved the proposal to implement a play-in tournament for the 2020-21 playoffs. This will take place following the conclusion of the regular season and prior to the first round. This tournament will include teams with the seventh-highest through the 10th-highest winning percentages in both conferences.

Teams with the seventh-highest and eighth-highest winning percentages will have two chances to win one game and earn a spot on the playoffs, while the No. 9 and No. 10 seeds will have to win two consecutive games.


The winner of the "Seven-Eight" game will be the seventh seed. The loser of that game and the winner of the "Nine-Ten" game will play each other to determine the eighth seed. 

Tentative calendar for the 2020-21 season

Dec. 11-19 – Preseason games

Dec. 22, 2020 - March 4, 2021 – First half of the regular season

March 5-10 – All-Star break

March 11 – May 16 – Second half of the regular season

May 22 – July 22 – Playoffs

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