NBA 2020 season start
Photo Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA 2020 Season Restart Date is Finally Announced.

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It seems like a lifetime ago now when Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell both tested positive for the Coronavirus on that fateful evening of March 11th, 2020.

 

Photo Credit: NBA

The Jazz and Thunder were about to tip-off, and a team doctor sprinted onto the court in Oklahoma City to halt the game. Of course, we know the rest of that story very well by now. It was like a scene torn from the movie Space Jam, where the league fictionally closed its doors because the Monstars stole the powers of NBA players. In the real world, Covid-19 threatened to steal the 2019-20 season. 

After a hiatus (And endless speculation) that lasted nearly three full months, the NBA is officially back. After team owners voted, we now know the timetable for when the league will be resuming play. We also have been informed as to when events like the NBA Draft and the start of the 2020-21 season will transpire. 

The games themselves will get underway in Orlando on July 31st and will end with the crowning of a champion on October 12th. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver approved a format where 22 teams were invited altogether. 

From the Western Conference, you have 13 teams total: 

 

  1. Lakers (49-14)
  2. Clippers (44-20)
  3. Nuggets (43-22)
  4. Jazz (41-23) 
  5. Thunder (40-24)
  6. Rockets (40-24)
  7. Mavericks (40-27)
  8. Grizzlies (32-33)
  9. Blazers (29-37)
  10. Pelicans (28-36)
  11. Kings (28-36)
  12. Spurs (27-36)
  13. Suns (26-39)

 

From the Eastern Conference, there are nine teams represented: 

 

  1. Bucks (53-12)
  2. Raptors (46-18)
  3. Celtics (43-21)
  4. Heat (41-24)
  5. Pacers (39-26)
  6. 76ers (39-26)
  7. Nets (30-34)
  8. Magic (30-35)
  9. Wizards (24-40)

 

The way this all will work is that each team will finish out the regular season by playing eight games. The teams that were still jockeying for the 8th seed within their respective playoff race will have a play-in style elimination event. There will also be a training camp for players that begins on June 30th. The teams will have eight days to prepare before they are due in Orlando at Disney’s facilities to enter the bubble that was agreed upon. After that, the teams will be living and practicing in quarantine until the games start. 

 

For those wondering about the Draft Lottery, it was rescheduled to August 25th.

 

Photo Credit: SB Nation

The NBA Draft itself will now occur on October 15th with NBA Free Agency getting underway on October the 18th. The teams that have the best chance at landing the number one overall pick are the Warriors, Cavaliers, and the Timberwolves. All three teams are tied with the same odds to earn the pick. So far, it’s a tossup as to whether they’d be picking LaMelo Ball (Australia by way of Chino Hills), James Wiseman (Memphis), or Anthony Edwards (Georgia). The darkhorse number one pick could be Dayton’s Obi Toppin. 

As for next season, it’s looking like the offseason will be a short one. These dates are considered to be flexible, but for now, Training Camp is slated to begin November 10th, and the regular season would get going on December 1st. Even without those dates being finalized, everyone is ready for the NBA to restart. Watching a team vying for a banner in October will be strange, but there won’t be any unresolved questions or asterisks involved.

 

Honestly, we’re just happy to have live NBA basketball back on our screens this summer. This restart can’t come fast enough.

 

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-Jeff Waddilove

@JeffWaddilove

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