The NBA remains on indefinite hiatus in order to combat the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and it’s causing them to have to get creative with the 2020 NBA playoffs.
It is now seeming more and more likely that the playoffs will take place in a centralized location so that all players can be quarantined when not playing. And Las Vegas, Nevada is the best place for that.
As it currently stands, all NBA-related operations are suspended, including the forced shutting down of all team practice facilities. This means that teams can only meet over online platforms and must do all their conditioning and workouts from home. Meanwhile, the NBA must figure if having a playoffs is even a feasible effort.
Whatever the case ends up being, it would appear that having a traditional NBA playoffs is completely out of the cards, according to Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated:
At this point, several team and league officials told SI.com, any chance of a traditional postseason is out.
In order to be able to play playoff games, the NBA would need to be able to quarantine all players, ensure their health, and not allow them to leave their centralized location. Meanwhile, Las Vegas remains the only legitimate option for that:
Quarantining in one location is the only solution, and Vegas is the only city the NBA is currently giving any kind of serious consideration, per an NBA source.
If the 2020 NBA playoffs were to happen (which is still not out of the question), it would certainly be the most interesting one in a long time. Beyond the fact that there are several quality championship contenders, watching teams play in an almost AAU-style tournament would be a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Under the circumstances that the entire world is facing right now, this is really the least of many people’s worries. However, bringing sports back even in such an odd way could help people return to some sort of normalcy.
Regardless of the outcome, it appears the NBA is doing everything in its power to ensure basketball returns to finish out the amazing 2019-20 NBA season.