On June 26, the NBA released the schedule for the return to play that begins on July 30 in Orlando, Florida. Seeding games will be played from July 30 to Aug. 14 and the entire schedule, per the NBA, can be found here.
There will be two games on opening night. The Los Angeles Lakers will take on the Los Angeles Clippers at 6:30 p.m. and the Utah Jazz take on Zion Williamson and the New Orleans at 9:00 p.m. EST.
The NBA restart full schedule: pic.twitter.com/lvBDUFSYOl
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) June 26, 2020
Games will be scheduled between 12 p.m. and 9 p.m. across three courts at the Disney World complex. Two courts will be equipped with the necessary technology for nationally televised games and a maximum of seven games will be played per day.
Each team will play a seeding schedule of eight games. Those eight games follow the same schedule each team would have played prior to the suspension of the season. Games that were scheduled against teams not invited to Orlando will be skipped over.
The most intriguing race when the season resumes will be the race for the eight and nine seeds in the Western Conference. Currently, the Memphis Grizzlies sit 3.5 games ahead of a handful of teams followed by the Spurs who sit four games back.
The Grizzlies will play the Blazers, Spurs and Pelicans in their first three games before playing the Oklahoma City Thunder and finishing with three Eastern Conference opponents.
The Indiana Pacers and Philadelphia 76ers sit in a lock 14 games back of first in the fifth and sixth seeds in the East. The two teams play each other once prior to the playoffs beginning and have very similar eight-game schedules remaining, each playing the Suns, Magic and Wizards. The Pacers will face off against the Heat twice who are currently sitting alone in 4th in the East and two games ahead of Indiana and Philadelphia.
While the Pacers and Sixers fight in the middle of the East, the Celtics will try to chase down the Raptors who have a three-game cushion ahead of Boston for the two seed. However, Boston’s road is much easier playing five of their eight games against teams outside of the top six in their respective conference. Toronto will play the Lakers, Heat, Celtics, Bucks, Sixers and Nuggets.
The NBA released on Twitter that 16 of 302 players tested positive for COVID-19. As the cases in Orlando and the rest of Florida rise, plans still push forward with the NBA restart just four weeks away.
Photo by: Keith Allison / Wikimedia Commons