As the sporting world aims for some kind of normality in the upcoming months, one of those sports that has been upturned by the pandemic is basketball. The 2019-20 NBA season was postponed on March 11 because of the situation, but it’s not all doom and gloom with the planning for a restart well underway.
On June 4, the NBA’s Board of Governors approved a competitive format for the NBA to resume its season with 22 teams returning and a start date of July 30. That means that for those who have missed their sporting fix and their betting flutters, that will no longer be the case come the end of the month. So, as the resumption draws ever nearer, take advantage of the NBA picks and parlays that will be coming in thick and fast and get ready for the Finals in October.
What was in the plan?
The plan put in place by the Board of Governors on June 4 was finalized by the NBA and National Basketball Players Association on June 26.
Stringent health and safety protocols were included with a single-site campus at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. The overall goal is to take collective action in a bid to combat systemic racism and promote social justice.
As well as that, the NBA and Disney have come to an arrangement that will see the Arena, the Field House and Visa Athletic Center at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex the venues for all remaining games of the season with no fans in attendance.
How did they choose the teams competing?
The 22 teams that will participate in the season will be the eight teams in each conference that have the highest current winning percentages and the six teams that are currently within six games of the eighth seed in either conference.
How will the format look?
Each team will play eight “seeding games”, selected from the regular-season fixtures. Following that, the seven teams in each conference with the highest combined winning percentages across regular-season games and seeding games will have the honour of being the first to to the seventh seeds of the NBA playoffs for that conference.
If the team with the eighth-best combined winning percentage in a conference is more than four games ahead of the team with the ninth-best combined winning percentage from the same conference, then the former would be the eighth playoff seed. However, if that side is four games or fewer ahead of the team in ninth then those two sides will compete in a play-in tournament to decide the eighth seed.
The NBA’s standard playoff tiebreaker procedures will come into play if the winning percentage is the same. The NBA playoffs will then proceed in the usual conference-based format once the 16-team playoff field has been found with four rounds and a best-of-seven series in each round. And, the NBA Finals will end no later than October 13.
It appears as though the NBA has got everything planned out to the fine detail. Let’s just hope that the pandemic will not dash the intricately-made plans.