The NBA seems to be very close to finalizing a return to play plan. There have been a number of different ideas that spoken about in different reports as the league and commissioner Adam Silver tries to find the best way to finish the season and playoffs in an unprecedented year.
Numerous ideas were presented to the owners, though Silver will ultimately have the final word. Deciding whether to have some sort of regular season or go straight to a playoffs, a play-in tournament for the final couple of playoff sports or a World-Cup style group stage, and the number of teams being brought back are all things that must be figured out.
Whatever Silver ultimately goes with, the NBA owners seem likely to approve of it. One told Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne of ESPN that the owners will be behind Silver’s plan and vote in approval:
“We are lining up behind him on this,” one owner told ESPN on Friday. “The posturing will end. Nothing is going to be perfect for everyone.”
This is great to hear for all those hoping to see an NBA return as soon as possible. Different formats stand to benefit certain teams more than others. A group stage plan would seem to get rid of the normal advantages given to the top seeded teams such as the Los Angeles Lakers and Milwaukee Bucks.
Going straight to a playoff would knock out teams such as the New Orleans Pelicans and Portland Trail Blazers who would’ve had a great chance to climb back in the playoffs in a normal season.
The most recent reports seem to indicate that the league will bring back 22 teams to finish out a reduced regular season before going into a play-in tournament and then the playoffs.
Nothing is for certain about what the final plan will be but having everyone on the same page will undoubtedly get the ball rolling as soon as possible.
The year has been an extremely tough one across America with things no one ever could have imagined becoming a reality. While the NBA and basketball itself isn’t the most important thing going on, its return could bring a welcome distraction and positivity amidst one of the most difficult times many have ever experienced.