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The NBA Season Looks Set to Make a Return to Action

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The NBA Season Looks Set to Make a Return to Action
Jeenah Moon/Getty Images/AFP

The NBA looks like it could be back to complete the season. While the details have yet to be finalized, what we do know is that Disney in Orlando seems to be the location that they have their eyes on. In terms of a date, we could see the league return in mid July or early August.

NBA in Advanced Talks to Finish Season

Since the NBA postponed their regular season back on March 12th, fans have been in the dark as to when the league would return. There has been no official timetable given which makes sense because the truth is, the entire world is on standby for now.

Last week, German soccer made its return and that seemed to give new hope to the rest of the sporting world. The NBA never gave the indication that they wouldn’t finish the season but logic tells us that the longer they take to come back, the less likely they are to have enough time to finish their season.

That is why this latest news about a possible return is bound to dominate the media for the next few weeks. Time is not on the NBA’s side and they know that. If they don’t act now, the season would be lost. With that in mind, let’s take a look at what the rest of the NBA season might look like.

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What Will the Rest of the NBA Season Look Like?

Before we discuss what the rest of the NBA season might look like, we need to make a few things clear. The Player’s Association and team owners have to come to some kind of agreement. Nothing has been decided yet, so everything we’ve heard so far is speculation. There are so many factors to consider before the league can come back. The only thing we know for certain is that the powers that be want to finish the season and on that front, there seems to be some consensus.

From what we’ve heard so far, a return to play would entail a training camp at a location to be determined for each team and then a “quarantined training camp” at the eventual site of the games.

The reality is these athletes are no longer in game shape after such a long layoff. If the NBA wants to put a quality product on the floor, they will need to give these guys time to get ready to compete at the highest level. Once they figure that part out, they will then need to determine what the rest of the season will look like.

How many games are they going to play before the playoffs? There has been speculation that they would go straight into playoff games but that doesn’t seem like the ideal scenario. It seems like players want to play some regular-season games to get warmed up for the playoffs but that
brings its own set of complications.

Do these regular-season games count towards the standings? If so, is that really fair to teams that had solidified their position before the pandemic? How many games should they play? What about the teams that have no chance of making the playoffs? Should those teams even have to play?

With every answer comes an entirely new set of questions but the fact that we’re even having this dialogue is great news for NBA fans.

Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images/AFP

New Playoff Format is Possible for the NBA

For a long time, there have been people that believe the NBA playoffs should be the top 16 teams in the league instead of the top 8 teams from each conference. If you check top-rated sportsbooks like BetOnline you will be able to find odds on possible NBA playoff series.

Without doing a poll, I would be willing to bet that the majority of NBA fans would rather see the top 16 teams make the playoffs instead of the current set up. Without getting ahead of ourselves, an example of why that would be good for neutrals is that it would make a Lakers versus Clippers NBA Finals possible for example. If anything, it assures fans that we are getting the best teams in the league competing for a title in this specific situation which is obviously unique on a global scale.

The other thing to consider is home-court advantage. Let’s stick to the old format for a second and imagine a Western Conference Final where the Lakers host the Clippers. Even though they share an arena, realistically it would be 75% Lakers fans which would have been a huge advantage.

What about the defending champion Toronto Raptors? Their home-court advantage is one of the reasons they were able to win the title last year and now that’s out the window. The issue of home-court advantage being gone is bound to have a huge effect on who would end up winning the title and the NBA odds will reflect this.

Regardless of what it looks like when it does come back, basketball fans around the globe will rejoice at having their favorites back on the court to finish the season. Until we know how it’s going to look, all we can do for now is speculate.