Too early for conclusions

NBA BUZZ - Bobby Motus (The Freeman) - December 30, 2020 - 12:00am

We had seen the first few games of the 2020-2021 NBA season with some expected results.  For about 12 hours last Christmas, we had a basketball overload when we were treated to five different games on TV. 

This early, there were a few teams with injury issues, notably Brooklyn and Golden State.  The Nets’ backup point guard Spencer Dinwiddie out for the season with a partial ACL tear on his right knee and had undergone surgery.   Warriors back-up center Marquesse Chriss broke his right leg and will also be out for the rest of the season.

There are at least 65 more games to go in the shortened 75th season with the usual 16-team playoff format tentatively scheduled to start from May 22 to July 22 next year.   Teams will play three games against each conference opponents (42 games) and two games against interconference opponents (30 games).

Only six teams are allowing spectators inside their arenas in limited numbers.  With NBA arenas having an average seating capacity of 18,000-plus, the few fans allowed inside will really be far apart.   There won’t be any seating allowed within 30 feet of the court.

The Atlanta Hawks had allowed attendance only for family and selected friends for the first few games and on Jan. 10, they plan to have 10% of the 16,888 capacity State Farm Arena. The Cleveland Cavalier’s 19,432-seat Rocket Mortgage Arena will allow 300 fans.   The New Orleans Pelicans’ home arena, the Smoothie King Center (16,867 capacity), will have 750 fans in attendance.

The 18,846-seat Amway Center, where the Orlando Magic holds court will host the most number of fans at 4,000.  The Toronto Raptors, because of restrictions in Canada, had temporarily relocated in Tampa, Florida and will call the 20,500-seat Amalie Arena their home and will have 3,800 seats available.  The Utah Jazz will host 1,500 fans at their Vivint Home Smart Arena (18,306 seats).

The rest of the 24 teams still have to decide when it would be safe to host fans as most of the home cities have strict health and safety protocols considering the increased transmission of the CoVid virus in some areas.

There were tight games and unexpected blowouts but these don’t define team performances for the season.  Some had gotten better, others stayed the same while some are in dire straits.  It’s still a long way to go and depending on health and any other issues, anything can happen to our favorite team’s chances of going all the way to the Finals.

* * *

Literally and figuratively, it’s hard to forget 2020 but yet, we continue to be thankful because The Almighty continues to wake us up every morning.  Here’s to a much better 2021 to all and this corner wishes everyone good blessings and good health.

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