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Everything You Need to Know About NBA’s 2020 Return

July 29, 2020

After the coronavirus shut down the NBA season, it is finally set to return on July 30 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex, inside Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Negotiations between the league and the NBA Players Association resulted in a new deal that will allow the game to resume after a hiatus of almost five months. With the current pandemic situation, the final pro basketball games of 2020 will be unlike any previous year.

The best 22 of the league’s 30 teams will play eight games to finish the regular season. From these, the top seven teams in each conference will advance, with the final eighth seed in each conference being determined by a potential play-in tournament before the traditional 16-team playoffs.

The resume of NBA Season needs social distancing requirements which means that fans will not be allowed to watch any of the NBA games live. The players are already at the venue and learning all the rules required for a safe game. There is still a lot to be sorted before the actual playoffs, but here’s everything we know so far about the NBA’s eagerly awaited return.

When does the season resume?

The NBA is set to resume play on July 30 with a doubleheader on TNT featuring the Jazz and Pelicans at 6:30 p.m. ET (8:30 a.m. Sydney time) followed by the Clippers versus the Lakers at 9 p.m. ET (11:30 a.m. Sydney time).

Each of the invited teams will play eight regular-season games to both figure out seeding and get ready for the playoffs. The exact schedule for each of the teams can be found on the NBA’s site. The seeding games will end on Aug. 14, with any play-in games taking place on Aug. 15 and 16.

When do the playoffs start?

The playoffs will begin on Aug. 17. Game 7 of the NBA Finals will take place, if necessary, no later than Oct. 13.

Which teams are in?

The 22 teams invited to Orlando for the restart includes the 16 teams that would currently qualify for the playoffs, plus six teams that are six games or fewer from the eighth and final playoff seed in their respective conferences.

Eastern Conference

  • Milwaukee Bucks
  • Toronto Raptors
  • Boston Celtics
  • Miami Heat
  • Indiana Pacers
  • Philadelphia 76ers
  • Brooklyn Nets
  • Orlando Magic
  • Washington Wizards

Western Conference

  • Los Angeles Lakers
  • Los Angeles Clippers
  • Denver Nuggets
  • Utah Jazz
  • Oklahoma City Thunder
  • Houston Rockets
  • Dallas Mavericks
  • Memphis Grizzlies
  • Portland Trail Blazers
  • New Orleans Pelicans
  • Sacramento Kings
  • San Antonio Spurs
  • Phoenix Suns

The other remaining eight teams are all done for the year and can begin prepping for the offseason and NBA Draft, which will be held on Oct. 16. Better luck next year, Knicks fans.

How does the play-in tournament work?

Here’s how this would all go down, according to an FAQ posted on NBA.com:

“If the team with the eighth-best record in its conference is more than four games ahead of the team with the ninth-best record in the same conference, no play-in tournament would be necessary. The final playoff berth would simply go to the team with the eighth-best record (regular-season games plus seeding games)” in that respective conference.

But, the site continues, “if the team with the eighth-best record in its conference is four games or fewer ahead of the team with the ninth-best record in the same conference, then we’ll have a battle for the final spot between those two teams.

“The tournament [would] basically be a best-of-two series — where the No. 9 seed would have to win two head-to-head matchups to take over the No. 8 spot.”

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NBA Merchandise to Buy For The 2020 Return

Los Angeles Lakers Blackout Logo Mask

Cover up while you represent your favorite team in this Los Angeles Lakers Blackout Logo Face Covering from Fanatics Branded! The NBA and Fanatics will support the All-In Challenge Foundation by donating all NBA proceeds from the sale of these licensed face coverings.

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Oklahoma City Thunder Adjustable Hat

Prove you are the #1 Oklahoma City Thunder fan with this Team 9FIFTY Snapback adjustable hat! This hat is perfect for the Oklahoma City Thunder fan who wants a unique new way to show off his pride for his favorite team. It features a 6-panel design and quality embroidery that will make it clear which team’s side you’re on!

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Chicago Bulls Baby Overalls

Show them you have the #1 Chicago Bulls fan with this Primary Logo bodysuit from Adidas! It features three snap buttons on the bottom along with bold Chicago Bulls graphics. This bodysuit will display to everyone his high Chicago Bulls spirit.

➡️ Get it From NBA For $12.99

Golden State Warriors Adjustable Hat

Get the winning look of your Golden State Warriors with this NBA Finals Bound 9FIFTY Snapback Adjustable Hat from New Era. You’ll have the perfect fit and the freshest look the second you pull on this Golden State Warriors piece.

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Miami Heat Sparo Leather Front Pocket Wallet

Take your Miami Heat fandom to the next level with this stylish Sparo Leather Front Pocket Wallet. Constructed from genuine leather, this wallet is adorned with a debossed team logo for a winning look.

➡️ Get it From NBA For $27.99

Note: We hope you loved the products we recommended! We just wanted to clarify that the stocks and prices are accurate as stated in the time of publication. All of the products we recommended may be subject to change. We do not own nor sell any of the products above. All credits are due to the NBA alone.