An NBA Board of Governor’s meeting set for Thursday is likely going to finalize plans for a restart of the 2020 season.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the NBA will vote on a finalized plan to restart the season this Thursday. Although the details of the plan still need to be worked out, a potential 22-team restart would set Game 7 of the NBA Finals for Oct. 12.
It goes without saying, but a 22-team format would be a first for the NBA and it will take place in a “bubble” at Disney World in Orlando, FL. The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor recently reported that a 22-team format would include eight regular-season games and a play-in tournament for the eighth seed.
If in fact this is the 22-team format that the league is going to move forward with, it should satisfy all parties. All-Star Damian Lillard has previously said that he will not play if his Portland Trail Blazers don’t have a “true opportunity to get into the playoffs.” This would certainly count.
In addition to the concerns of players, the fans want to see more basketball with exciting stars like Zion Williamson. Eight regular-season games and a play-in tournament would give fans ample opportunity to see Zion one more time in 2020.
— Knicks State of Mind Podcast (@NYKSOMPodcast) May 27, 2020
The NBA was the first major sports league in the country to shut down and it was a catalyst for the NHL, NCAA, and MLB suspending their seasons. Everything changed when Rudy Gobert tested positive for coronavirus.
The good news is that the NBA appears close to a return. Recent reports peg July 31 as the likely date for a return to NBA basketball.
The New York Teams
Of the New York teams, only one — the Brooklyn Nets — are going to be part of this year’s NBA restart. The New York Knicks, on the other hand, are so far down in the standings, their season is almost definitely over.
When it comes to the Nets, it’s almost impossible to know what to expect for the rest of the season. Kevin Durant has long said that he has no intention of suiting up this season, but the hiatus provided the superstar with much more time to recover from his Achilles tear he suffered in the 2019 NBA Finals.
In addition to Durant, Kyrie Irving‘s shoulder is another question mark. After struggling with various injuries throughout the season, Irving opted for shoulder surgery in February and it’s unclear whether or not he would be healthy enough to get back on the court this season.
There’s little that would indicate either player would risk their long-term health for a chance at a championship during this bizarre season, but 2020 has taught us to never say never.
While the Knicks would certainly love to be playing in the playoffs in July, they are looking towards the future. A slew of front office moves from president Leon Rose has the team positioned well for the draft and the offseason.
The team has also opened up the practice facility in Tarrytown, NY for individual, voluntary workouts.