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NBA Approves Restart To 2020 Season



NBA Basketball

Basketball finds a Temporary Home with Mickey Mouse and Co

Like many other sports across the globe, the National Basketball Association (NBA) was forced to pause the season due to the Coronavirus outbreak. Though NBA Governors have approved plans for 22 teams to restart the season. A potential start date has been set for Friday, July 31, with the finals taking place in around October.


NBA to restart 2020 season on Friday 31 July 2020

The games will all be played at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, as well as training taking place there and the players/coaches living at the resort until the end of the season. Some teams won’t make the trip to Orlando as the NBA have confirmed it will only be teams within six games of a playoff spot, this would mean the top 13 teams from the Western Conference and only the top 9 from the Eastern Conference.

The format for the return would see each team play 8 seeding games. The 7 teams from each conference with the best combined regular season and seeding games record will go through to the playoffs, simple. If the team placed 8th has a better-combined record by more than four games than the team in 9th, then they will go through to the playoffs, also pretty simple. Now for the confusing part. If the team in 8th is less than four games ahead of 9th, then the two would play each other for a spot in the playoffs. To qualify, the team placed 8th would need to win the 9th placed team once but for the team placed 9th to go through, they would need to win the 8th placed team in two games in a row.

If you are still with me after that confusing 8th v 9th explanation then we can go through the season so far.


NBA Season so far 

With most teams playing around 60-70 games in the season, only a few teams had managed to have their playoff hopes confirmed before the season was paused. 

In the Eastern Conference, the Milwaukee Bucks, Toronto Raptors (last years winners) and Boston Celtics had confirmed their places in the playoffs. The Miami Heat, Indiana Pacers and Philadelphia 76ers are all just a couple of W’s away from confirming their place in the playoffs. The final two places in the Eastern Conference seem likely to go to the Brooklyn Nets and Orlando Magic. The Washington Wizards, who will be going to Orlando as well, will feel they can form a late push for that all-important 8th place. The Wizards are 5.5 games behind the Magic.

The Western Conference isn’t as clear cut at the moment. The only team to have their playoff place confirmed so far is the LA Lakers. The Golden State Warriors, with star player Steph Curry, were rock bottom of the conference and were the only team in the NBA to have been confirmed as officially out of the playoff chase before the season paused. A surprise for a team that had made it to five of the previous finals. The other playoff qualifiers from the Western Conference will be made up the LA Clippers, Denver Nuggets, Utah Jazz, Oklahoma City Thunder, Dallas Mavericks, Memphis Grizzlies or Houston Rockets. 

With 13 teams from the West playing at Orlando; Portland, New Orleans, Sacramento, San Antonio and Phoenix will all get an invite to fight for their place. It is likely they will only be able to catch the Memphis Grizzlies who are the team currently in 8th, 3.5 games above the teams in 9th, 10th and 11th.


NBA 2020 Championship Contenders

It is hard to look past the Lakers with the power of LeBron James and Anthony Davis scoring endless points together, with Davis putting up a strong average of 9.4 in rebounding, making them a dominant force on the offensive. 

The Western Conference offers up a number of teams who may carry on their momentum from the end of the season through to the playoffs. One team in particular who may offer up a surprise is the Dallas Mavericks with the European combination of Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis leading them through the season. Doncic has an impressing 28.7 points average and 8.7 assist average, the 21-year-old carrying the hopes and dreams of the Mav fans on his shoulders.

The Eastern Conference leaders, the Milwaukee Bucks, will also feel they are in with a shout of winning the championship. Giannis Antetokounmpo leads the Bucks in points (29.6), rebounds (13.8) and assists (5.8). His level of high performance continuing once the league restarts, will be crucial for the Bucks when it comes to the playoffs.

The Boston Celtics will be hoping to get their first NBA Championship since 2008. The team that dominated the sport in the ‘60s has found modern-day success hard to come by. Their title hopes lay with the likes of Jayson Tatum and Kemba Walker. They are a real outsider for this year’s title but the playoffs are a different breed of game to the regular season games.


NBA Player Statistics

The season restarting is also a chance for the players who were leading the scoring charts to continue their push for statistic toppers at the end of the season:

Points per Game – 34.4 James Harden (Houston Rockets)

Assists per Game – 10.6 LeBron James (LA Lakers)

Rebounds per Game – 15.2 Andre Drummond (Cleveland Cavaliers)

Blocks per Game – 3.1 Hassan Whiteside (Portland Trail Blazers)

Steals per Game – 2.1 Ben Simmons (Philadelphia 76ers)

In terms of the league MVP, last years winner Giannis Antetokounmpo is most people’s favourite to win the award. Kawhi Leonard is also another name many basketball pundits are suggesting. Then there is, of course, LeBron James who seems to never stop even in his mid 30’s. 

It is also a chance for the rookies to continue battling for the Rookie of Year award, an award that has been won by Luka Doncic, Kyrie Irving, LeBron James and Michael Jordan in the past. Great company to be in. The frontrunners for this year’s winner include; Ja Morant (Memphis Grizzlies), Zion Williamson (New Orleans Pelicans) and RJ Barrett (New York Knicks).


The NBA All-Stars

Before the season paused, the yearly NBA All-Star showcase took place in Chicago. The team captains for this years game were LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Team LeBron was made up of a starters team of; LeBron (LA Lakers), Anthony Davis (LA Lakers), Kawhi Leonard (LA Clippers), Luka Doncic (Dallas Mavericks) and James Harden Houston Rockets). 

Team Giannis was made up of starters; Giannis (Milwaukee Bucks), Joel Embiid (Philadelphia 76ers), Pascal Siakam (Toronto Raptors), Kemba Walker (Boston Celtics) and Trae Young (Atlanta Hawks).

The game ended in a 157-155 victory for Team LeBron, with LeBron’s Lakers teammate Davis scoring the winning free throw. Kawhi Leonard scored 30 points in the game, hitting 8 3-pointers and winning the MVP award. The MVP award had been renamed the Kobe Bryant MVP award after Kobe and his daughter, Gianna, were sadly killed in a helicopter crash in January of this year.

It seems a fitting way to end this piece with the mention of the NBA legend, Kobe Bryant, who was taken from the world too soon. His legacy will continue in basketball but also in the neighbourhoods he helped changed with his charity work. 


We hope you enjoyed the article ‘NBA Approves Restart To 2020 Season.’ What are your thoughts on the NBA set to restart on Friday 31st July? Let us know!


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Josh is a recent MA Sports Journalism graduate and a BA (hons) Sports Studies graduate. He is passionate about football, Sheffield Wednesday, Liam Gallagher and writing about himself in 3rd person. Josh is contactable via email at [email protected]


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