The return of the NBA is just around the corner as the league proposed its official plan for finishing the 2019-20 season to the Board of Governors.
To no surprise, under the proposal, the season will be completed at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex on the Walt Disney World Resort campus in Orlando, Fla. The 22 invited teams will consist of the 16 currently occupying playoff positions as well as teams on the bubble, which includes the Washington Wizards, Portland Trail Blazers, New Orleans Pelicans, Sacramento Kings, San Antonio Spurs and Phoenix Suns.
Instead of going straight to the playoffs, everyone will play eight regular-season games, which will not only decide seeding in each conference, but also who will be the eighth seed in each conference.
At the conclusion of the eight games, whoever is sitting in the eighth and ninth positions will have a play-in tournament to decide who will move on to the actual postseason, if they are separated by four games or fewer.
The Board of Governors officially voted on the league’s proposal, with all but the Portland Trail Blazers approving it and paving the way for the season to officially resume, per Shams Charania of The Athletic:
Sources: Portland was the lone team that voted against the 22-team format. https://t.co/WxxADXEkNb
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 4, 2020
The league needed at least 23 votes from its Board of Governors in order to move forward. Next is a Friday vote amongst the NBPA, which like the teams, is expected to vote in approval of commissioner Adam Silver’s plan.
With play set to begin on July 31, teams have almost two months to get back into game shape, and practice facilities have already begun opening to allow them to do so.
A team like the Los Angeles Lakers has an even bigger luxury as they are sitting comfortably in the No. 1 spot in the Western Conference, meaning they can use their eight regular-season games to continue to get into shape for the playoffs, as opposed to bubble teams who will have to win every game from the start just to have a chance at the postseason.
While the league discussed many different possibilities, it is good to see that everyone was ultimately able to come to an agreement on the best format possible and there will be a finish to the 2019-20 season.