The NBA appears keen on resuming the 2019-20 season. Guidelines are being issued within a week on how teams will bring all players back to their markets, hold camp and more. If everything runs smoothly, the season could resume in July.
According to Brian Windhorst of ESPN earlier this week, it is increasingly likely that the NBA won’t resume with all 30 teams. Part of the reason why is because teams at the bottom of the standings may not have anything to play for.
The Washington Wizards, who are ninth place in the Eastern Conference stand to gain a lot or lose a lot, depending on how the season will resume.
Here are some of the options that are at play besides
- Opening rounds of the NBA Playoffs before a traditional 16-team playoff based on conference standings — Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban suggested that the NBA include a “play-in” tournament for the No. 7 through No. 10 seeds in the Eastern and Western Conference before a traditional playoff tournament. Based on this method, the Wizards will make the playoffs. Cuban also proposed that all teams play 72 games in order to fulfill local television contracts.
- “FIFA World Cup/UEFA Champions League-style Tournament” — 20 Teams will be pooled and put into several groups for a round-robin tournament before creating a knockout tournament. Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer suggested pooling teams based off of overall regular season records. Based on this method, the Wizards will not make the tournament. However, the Wizards would make it if this pool was done based off of conference standings with 10 teams from each conference.
- An immediate start to a straight 16-team playoff — In this scenario, the Top 8 teams from each conference make the playoffs, just like it would. The Wizards wouldn’t make the playoffs in this scenario.
I think the NBA will ultimately expand the playoff field, but it remains to be seen whether the Wizards will be in it. That is dependent on whether the NBA decides to use overall seeding or a combination of conference standings and playoff seeding to figure out which teams play in an expanded playoff tournament.
If the NBA decides to expand the playoff pool, the league won’t be alone. The NHL decided on Tuesday to resume their 2019-20 season with a 24-team playoff instead of a traditional 16-team playoff based off the top four teams from each division. In their playoffs, the top four teams overall in each conference will play round-robin tournaments to determine seeding while the No. 5 through No. 12 seeds in each conferences will play a best-of-five series. Ultimately, the conference finals and finals will be best-of-seven formats.
Do you think the NBA season should resume with 30 teams, even if some have nothing to play for? And would you like to see the Wizards in an expanded playoff field? Let us know in the comments below.