BOSTON (CBS) — Though many uncertainties still remain, the NBA appears to be hyper-focused on returning to play this summer. We’re now learning a few more details.
Shams Charania of The Athletic reported that the NBA will make a proposal to the NBA Board of Governors on Thursday regarding the league’s plans to return to play.
Some details of that proposal:
–A target date of July 31 to resume the season.
–22 teams will be invited to Disney World, meaning the 2019-20 season will officially be over for eight teams.
–If the ninth place team in a conference is within four games of the eighth seed, there will be a play-in tournament for the final postseason spot. If the eighth seed owns a lead of five games or more over the ninth seed, then the eighth seed will automatically earn the playoff berth.
–Players cannot shower in the arena. Bench players would be spread out in the stands, to comply with social distancing guidelines.
The 22-team format was deemed to be the most appealing choice, as it keeps out teams that don’t have a realistic shot of reaching the postseason, thus limiting the number of people who enter the NBA’s “bubble” in Orlando.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski also reported on the proposal, which is expected to be approved. Wojnarowski added that the 22 teams will play eight regular-season games before the playoffs.
Currently, the eighth seeds in the NBA’s two conferences are the Orlando Magic and Memphis Grizzlies. The Magic have a 5.5-game lead over the ninth place Wizards and a seven-game lead over the 10th-place Hornets. In the West, the Grizzlies currently own just a 3.5-game lead over three teams: the Trail Blazers, Pelicans and Kings. In 12th place in the West, the Spurs are just four games behind the Grizzlies as well.