Thu, 22 Oct 2020

NBA set to return July 31 with 22 teams

Field Level Media
05 Jun 2020, 04:55 GMT+10

NBA owners voted to restart the regular season for the 22 teams in contention for the playoffs in a near-unanimous vote of the league's Board of Governors on Thursday afternoon, ESPN reported.

In a 29-1 vote, the board voted for playing eight regular-season games starting July 31, with the last possible date for Game 7 of the NBA Finals being Oct. 12, ESPN reported.

The NBA draft will be held Oct. 15, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

Each of the 22 teams -- 13 Western Conference teams and nine from the East -- will play eight regular-season games for seeding purposes for the playoffs. The 16 teams currently in postseason position are joined by the New Orleans Pelicans, Portland Trail Blazers, Phoenix Suns, Sacramento Kings and San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference and the Washington Wizards in the Eastern Conference.

The Pelicans (28-36), Kings (28-36) and Trail Blazers (29-37) sit 3 1/2 games behind the eighth-place Memphis Grizzlies (32-33) in the Western Conference. The Spurs (27-36) are four in back of the Grizzlies, while the Suns (26-39) are six back.

The Trail Blazers were the only team voting against the proposal on Thursday, per multiple reports.

The Wizards (24-40) reside six games behind the seventh-place Brooklyn Nets (30-34) and 5 1/2 behind the eighth-place Orlando Magic (30-35).

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, "If the ninth seed is more than four games behind the eighth seed, the eighth seed earns the playoff spot; if the ninth seed is four or fewer games behind, then the eighth and ninth seed will enter a play-in tournament that is double-elimination for the eighth seed and single-elimination for ninth."

The Milwaukee Bucks, Toronto Raptors, Boston Celtics, Miami Heat, Indiana Pacers, Philadelphia 76ers, Nets and Magic currently occupy playoff spots in the Eastern Conference. The Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers join the Denver Nuggets, Utah Jazz, Oklahoma City Thunder, Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks and Grizzlies in residing in playoff position in the Western Conference.

The NBA season was placed on hiatus on March 11 after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus.

--Field Level Media

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