In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the NBA postponed the rest of the season until July 31 at Disney World. However, this will have its own issues and possibilities, like making a documentary about the season’s restart. One of the most unique features of the restart: Not all teams will attend. Read on to find out what else the NBA faces in Orlando, Florida.
The NBA’s plan to return
It’s no secret that this season has been incredibly unique. In order to restart the season, NBA officials have decided to go to Orlando to Disney World. But only 22 teams will compete. The top 16 teams (eight each) from the Eastern and Western Conferences will attend.
The remaining eight teams are those that are behind the eighth team in their conference six or fewer games. The plan was approved with a 29-1 vote, according to the New York Post. Nightly testing will be done to all players for COVID-19. Players testing positive will be quarantined for a week, but the games will continue.
With seeding, all 22 teams will play eight games. A play-in tournament may be planned for the eighth seeds. Team will be ruled out through a best-of-two scenario. Training will begin around July 9 to 11, but this date isn’t clear. Teams will get 3-hour practices. It’s planned that five to six games per day will be played. It’s also expected that playoffs will be done around October 12.
Going to Disney World
The NBA season will resume at Disney World in Orlando. This is being done, in part, because it meets the requirements of the teams and, in part, to protect the franchises. Disney World was selected because of its seclusion and the ability to test all individuals entering for COVID-19.
Due to being in a “bubble,” it will be easier to protect the franchises. Moreover, the limit, including players, of people allowed in will be 1,500 people. Basketball can be played at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports and HP Field House — both of which are nearby.
A quick turnaround for the NBA
It’s recognized that training for the 2020-21 season begins on November 10 and the season anticipated to begin on December 1, CBS Sports reports. Players participating in the 2019-20 season won’t get much downtime, which is a concern and is surprising. There are also concerns that the 2020-2021 season will interfere with the Tokyo Olympics, set to begin in summer 2021. To be sure the season is done before the Olympics, the NBA would have to schedule a 4:5 set, where four games are played across five nights. If the normal 177-day schedule is used, playoffs won’t be done until about the beginning of August, after the Olympics begins.
Much of the decision-making for the 2020-2021 season is based on how the Disney World 2019-2020 season goes. Players do get a say though and may vote to have the 2020-2021 season begin on another date. But for those teams that make it far into, or win, the 2019-2020 playoffs, the schedule is punishing and could even be catastrophic.
No final decisions have been made about the 2020-2021 season yet. However, there are concerns about the well-being of players and quality of play. There are also concerns about increases in injuries due to the brutal schedule, especially for the champions of the 2019-2020 season that will have under two months to recover before the next season begins.