It has been nearly two months since the league suspended the 2019-20 NBA season in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Despite conflicting reports, there is growing optimism about a potential return to action. Some teams have now been allowed to re-open their practice facilities in an effort to usher in the transition back to the court.
Of course, the question remains regarding how the league will go about resuming play with the timeline for next season now being taken into consideration. It seems they could be forced to get the 2020 NBA Playoffs going right away.
According toKevin O’Connor of The Ringer, there is a belief that the first game back could be the start of the playoffs:
“The first game when we get back will probably be a playoff game,” said a league source with knowledge of plans for resuming games.
There has already been plenty of speculation regarding the logistics of finishing out the season while ensuring player safety for its duration. Getting the playoffs started right away following such a hiatus comes with its own set of challenges.
Los Angeles Lakers head coach Frank Vogel voiced his belief of the need to play exhibition or regular-season games beforehand in order to get the players ready. He feels that is the only way they can make sure that teams will be ready to ring in a competitive postseason atmosphere.
If the unnamed league source is correct, it would go directly against what Vogel had initially assumed the NBA was going to take into account. This could result in a drastic change in not only how the Lakers conduct business moving forward, but the rest of the league.
It is safe to say that Vogel’s thoughts are shared by the majority of players and coaches, even those on non-playoff teams. LeBron James is among those that have not been shy about expressing his difficulty with trying to stay in shape during this basketball purgatory.
Unfortunately, it seems they may not have a choice in the matter if the NBA is going to crown a champion before deciding on a new start time for the 2020-21 NBA season.