It’s innovative, it’s fun, and it’ll drive tons of overdue story lines. Adam Silver does it again with an innovative playoff race right before the 2019-2020 postseason. We’ve said it so many times here on Hoops Heaven about how unconventional the NBA Commissioner can be. Although we’d have liked to see the season play out normally, but the shelter in place protocols we’ve been afforded over the past few months have had at least a few benefits. An exciting new NBA short-season format and a little bit of work from home are some examples. Here’s what we can expect:
End Of Season Games That Mean Something
For anyone that’s confused about what the remainder of the regular season will have in store, here’s an explanation made while referencing the Intelligent Layman’s Handbook…The remaining regular season games will consist of 22 NBA teams. 16 of those teams are the top eight in each of the Eastern and Western Conferences. The other six teams are teams that are currently six games or fewer behind the eighth place team in each conference.
After the eight “seeding games” (the remaining games of the entire regular season); if the ninth place team is four games or fewer behind the eighth place team in the same conference, those two teams would play in a play-in tournament to see who gets the final playoff spot. Here, the team in eighth place would have to beat the team in ninth place once. While the team in ninth place would have to be the eighth place team twice in a row. This play-in tournament could be as few as just one game or as many as two games…phew!
Clearly these games mean something for each and every one of the 22 teams. Teams atop the conference will want to re-gain chemistry and solidify their dominance. Teams toward the bottom or even out of the playoff race will be fighting for their postseason lives.
I’m just glad Damian Lillard has something to play for.
Incredible Content All-Around
With the remaining schedule of the season to be played at the ESPN Wide World Of Sports in Florida. Multiple games will be played simultaneously on separate courts and who knows who will be able to be in attendance. Reports have said that only family and close friends will be allowed to watch these games in person, and we could get a little bit of insight on some of our favorite players mothers, fathers, kids, etc.
Look for Portland or New Orleans to really be able to make a push into the last spot in the West. There are some other exciting teams joining in on this 22 team slate, but it looks like a lot of those other guys would need a miracle.
Since the BIG3 won’t be having it’s quarantine tournament, the NBA will hold it down for us hard-working fans and do them one better. Hopefully Taylor Rooks will come out and give us all a taste of her interviewing skills with a dab of sideline reporting.
If this isn’t the final straw that says that the NBA is the greatest sports league in the world then I don’t know what is. Not only did the NBA blaze the trail in shutting down play due to COVID-19, but has brought back the remainder of its season with style and grace. I can’t whole-hardheartedly say that this is a great time to be alive, but under the recent circumstances I know that we’re all lucky to be. Let’s just enjoy what the league has in store. Stay safe.