The NBA is back. The league has officially kicked-off its restart of the 2019-2020 season with warm-up exhibition games this week in Orlando, FL ahead of the first set of regular-season games on July 30th. The official restart will feature the Utah Jazz versus the New Orleans Pelicans followed by the marquee matchup between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers.
The league and its players have embraced the full restart and the many changes that have come with it. With the NBA bubble in full effect, the remainder of the 2019-2020 season will look a lot different.
What is different in the NBA Bubble?
There’s no question NBA games look and feel a bit different in Orlando, FL as a result of the coronavirus outbreak that’s plagued the nation and the rest of the world. For starters, there are zero fans in attendance and it will be that way for the rest of the season. Additionally, the league has put social distance measures into place inside the gyms so that players remain apart while sitting on the bench to help ensure safety.
Furthermore, there are only 22 teams finishing out the season. After the final set of warm-up games, the league will play out an 8 game regular season to finalize seeding for the playoffs. Once the playoff matchups are set, both conferences will play a full playoff schedule.
The scheduling and atmosphere are certainly different relative to a normal NBA schedule, however, many expect the competitiveness and play to be just as good, if not, better as the NBA Championship is anyone’s to claim.
The fans stand to benefit the most from the restart and the sense of urgency the abbreviated schedule yields. In addition, sports bettors are also eagerly awaiting the return of the NBA season, particularly bettors in Michigan. Michigan legalized sports betting (in-person) in December 2019, however, due to the coronavirus the state is planning to push up the launch of Michigan online sports betting to the fall, which would be just in time for the NBA playoffs.
When do the NBA Playoffs Begin?
The 16 team NBA playoff tournament will commence on August 17th with Game 7 of the NBA finals slated for no later than October 13th.
Before August, teams will need to finish out a miniature regular season to determine seeding, which may feature a play-in game for the 8th seed in each conference.
If a team with the 8th seed in its conference is 4 games or fewer ahead of the 9th seed, then the two teams will have to play each other in a sudden-death game to determine the 8th and final seed for the playoffs.
This addition adds a level of excitement for the teams and the fans and it accounts for the abbreviated season by allowing some of the teams who were on the playoff bubble a chance to compete for the 8th seed in such a short time frame. Below are all 22 franchises competing for the 2019-2020 NBA Championship.
Eastern Conference NBA Teams in Orlando
● Milwaukee Bucks
● Toronto Raptors
● Boston Celtics
● Miami Heat
● Indiana Pacers
● Philadelphia 76ers
● Brooklyn Nets
● Orlando Magic
● Washington Wizards
Western Conference NBA Teams in Orlando
● Los Angeles Lakers
● Los Angeles Clippers
● Denver Nuggets
● Utah Jazz
● Oklahoma City Thunder
● Houston Rockets
● Dallas Mavericks
● Memphis Grizzlies
● Portland Trail Blazers
● New Orleans Pelicans
● Sacramento Kings
● San Antonio Spurs
● Phoenix Suns
The rest of the NBA season will be on ESPN, TNT, and ABC depending on the day of the week and the particular games. TNT is scheduled to broadcast the first double-header on July 30th beginning at 6:30pm ET.