The 2020-2021 Season

NBA BUZZ - Bobby Motus (The Freeman) - October 28, 2020 - 12:00am

The 2019-2020 season is officially done and plans are in the works for the opening of the new NBA season.  Earlier reports say that the league is targeting to open on December 22 but of late, it was reported that it was moved to open by the end of the year with a maximum of 72 games.  The season will end in early July, before the start of the Tokyo Olympics, which would allow players to compete in the 2021 Games.

The NBA had informed teams that the season will not begin before Christmas and chances are, it won’t be held in a bubble again, for financial reasons.  The NBA Draft will be virtually held on November 18 and training camps, if the proposed schedule will be followed, will open early December.  Free agency follows shortly.

The league and the players’ union are discussing a plan among others, to adapt a format used by major league baseball where teams play with each other for a mini-series to limit travel time.  For example, the Oklahoma City Thunder will travel to New York and play two road games against the Knicks and the Brooklyn Nets.

The US as of Sunday had an accelerated average of 68,700+ cases daily, the highest 7-day recorded average yet.   Between October 14 to 21, 400,000+ cases were confirmed with almost 5,500 deaths.  With the rise in infections, the league is concerned with at least five big market teams located in states with high infection rates and medical experts are warning of a surge in cases specially that winter is nearing.  

California has the greatest number of confirmed cases in the US and is home to the Sacramento Kings, the Golden State Warriors, the LA Clippers and the Lakers.  It is followed by Texas (San Antonio Spurs, Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets) and Florida (Orlando Magic and Miami Heat).

There is a good chance that some teams will be relocated from their home markets to play in what the league calls regional bubbles or pods, which was also part of the discussions.   CoVid is making things difficult again for the league.   Unless some protective protocols will be strictly implemented, I doubt if fans will be allowed inside arenas in the early stages of the season.

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