On the night of March 11 when it was announced that Utah Jazz All-Star center Rudy Gobert, the NBA quickly shut down the regular season. Finally, more than four months later, it resumes starting Thursday night from Orlando.
3 things to know about what’s left of the 2020 NBA ScheduleHow It Works
The NBA could have skipped right to the playoffs like the NHL is doing, but the league would have lost more money by not playing any more regular-season games. Most NBA teams have played around 65 games and most have local TV contracts that include a minimum of 70. Thus, that’s why Adam Silver has scheduled an eight-game restart that begins with Jazz vs. Pelicans and Clippers vs. Lakers on Thursday night from Orlando.
Only 22 of the league’s 30 teams were invited to the NBA’s bubble at the ESPN World Wide of Sports Complex. Those were the 16 clubs that would have made the playoffs when the season shut down on March 11 as well as six that were within shouting distance of the final playoff spot in their conference: Washington in the East, and Portland, New Orleans, Sacramento, San Antonio and Phoenix in the West.
The playoff format will stay the same as in past years, but there will be a “play-in” tournament at the conclusion of the regular season if the No. 9 seed in either conference is within four games of the No. 8. If so, those two would play each other. The No. 9 would have to win two straight games vs. the No. 8 to advance, while the eighth seed would simply need to win one of the two games.
Those play-in game would be Aug. 15-16. The playoffs then start on Aug. 17, with the conference semifinals tipping off Aug. 31, the conference finals on Sept. 15 and the NBA Finals on Sept. 30.
Teams are permitted up to 17 players in Orlando. All 2019-20 games are played across three venues at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando.Consider Fading Nets and Wizards
The Washington Wizards frankly shouldn’t have been invited to Orlando as the Wizards are 24-40 and 5.5 games behind No. 8 Orlando for the East’s final playoff spot. As an aside, the Magic don’t have any sort of “home” advantage in Orlando because their players must stay in the bubble too.
Washington has lost its two best players – not counting John Wall, who missed this entire season rehabbing an Achilles injury – to opt-outs in Bradley Beal, arguably the best shooting guard in the Eastern Conference, and stellar Sixth Man Davis Bertans. Beal simply didn’t want to risk injury for what basically will be meaningless games, and Bertans is set to be a free agent and also didn’t want to risk injury.
Beal was not named an All-Star this season even though he’s second in the NBA in scoring at 30.5 points per game. He is the first player in NBA history to average at least 30 points per game not making the All-Star team that season. Bertans was second in the team in scoring at 15.4 ppg and one of the NBA’s best 3-point shooters.
The Brooklyn Nets are all but locks to reach the playoffs and currently sit seventh in the East, but they are completely decimated. Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving are out injured/rehabbing injuries. The team also has lost second-leading scorer Spencer Dinwiddie, center DeAndre Jordan and forwards Wilson Chandler and Taurean Prince to opt-outs.
Brooklyn is basically a G-League roster at this point.It’s All About Motivation And Health
When betting on the NBA at Mybookie the rest of the way, two things above all else need to be considered: A team’s motivation and health. The Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers both are essentially locks to clinch the top seed in the Eastern and Western Conference. Thus, what point would either team have to play their best players for the final six regular-season games or so once those seeds are officially clinched?
Is simply getting in game shape and in sync with teammates worth risking injury to Giannis Antetokounmpo or LeBron James? The Phoenix Suns could be eliminated from playoff competition literally after their first game. Why would the Suns risk any of their top players after that?
In addition, while the NBA has been lucky with the coronavirus in the bubble so far, it’s seems more likely than not that some guys will test positive and be sidelined for a while. There’s also a bigger chance of injury because of the three-plus months off for players and then quick training camp ahead of the restart.
Long story short: Only back motivated teams and wait until the last minute to wager on every game to get updated injury/coronavirus/guys sitting out information.