The NBA is Back: NBA Set for 22-Team Restart in Orlando on July 31st

NBA commissioner Adam Silver will meet with the Board of Governors today to discuss a return to basketball action in the form of a 22-team restart.

At 12:30pm EST today, Adam Silver and the Board of Governors will meet virtually and vote with the intention of approving a 22-team NBA league restart. The plan outlined by Silver involves a resumption of play at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida on July 31st.

The plan includes 13 Western Conference teams and nine Eastern Conference teams, eight regular-season games, a potential play-in tournament for the eighth seed, and playoffs.

The top 16 teams in the Eastern and Western Conferences will be joined by teams within six games of eighth place in each conference – New Orleans, Portland, Sacramento, San Antonio, Phoenix and Washington. If the ninth-place team in each conference is within four games of eighth-place, the two teams will have a play-in tournament for the final spot. The ninth-place team would need to beat eighth twice to advance.

Following this, it would then be time for the conference playoffs. With lots of basketball still to be played in the proposed restart plan, the NBA Finals would possibly extend to mid-October.

Originally, after the NBA was suspended back in March, it was hoped that teams could resume play in their own stadiums, albeit behind closed doors. However, after discussions between the NBA and medical experts, it was decided that the safest way to get the NBA back in our lives would be to limit the number of teams returning to play and resuming games in a neutral location – Walt Disney World Resort.

With safety precautions being of utmost importance to players, coaches, staff and governors, the plan set out today will reportedly outline the need for 15,000 coronavirus tests and the quick removal of any NBA representatives (players or otherwise) who test positive during the rest of the NBA season.

For the eight teams left out of the Orlando format, many are disappointed and worried about how damaging a nine-month gap between NBA games could be for their teams both competitively and financially. Players’ match fitness and development will be affected, and the teams will miss out on considerable television and sponsorship money.

Everything will be revealed following today’s meeting – more specific details of the new league format, the impact on teams included and excluded from the plan, health and safety measures and how we as fans can be a part of the action. We look forward to hearing about a positive vote for the NBA’s return later on today!

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