CDC Recommends No Events of 50-plus for 2 Months, NBA Hopes for June Start

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The NBA has been suspended, but all eyes are on NBA ownership and executives as to when we might see play resume. Of course, the health and safety of players come first, yet fans are certainly growing antsy due to this surprising stoppage of play.

Best Case Scenario: Mid-to-late June Return

With a recommended two-month layoff from events that garner 50-plus, fans are crossing their fingers in hopes of an immediate return to play in the month of June. The question is, where will the NBA pick up?

The last time we saw NBA basketball was March 11th. While most games continued to play, the match between the New Orleans Pelicans and Sacramento Kings and Utah Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder saw cancellations.

With less than a quarter of the season to go, we have no idea where the NBA might pick up. With matches left to play and teams still in the hunt for the playoffs, this abrupt stoppage totally affects the competitiveness of play.

The League as it Stands

At the stoppage of play, there are currently four teams that have clinched a playoff berth. The NBA leading Milwaukee Bucks, the Western Conference-leading Los Angeles Lakers, the Reigning Champion Toronto Raptors, and the Boston Celtics.

The real question lies with the rest of the conference competitors. There are currently three teams within 3.5 games of the eighth seed in the Western Conference and one team within 5.5 games of the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference.

Should the NBA choose to resume play in June, would we be seeing an immediate playoff? Or would we see the continuation of the regular season?

The playoff race certainly isn’t decided, but with about 20% of matches remaining, final seeding and its implications certainly aren’t decided.

Arena Availability

Let’s say the NBA begins again in mid-to-late June. By that time last year, in 2019, we were experiencing the tail end of the NBA Finals. Game Six of the NBA Finals between the Toronto Raptors and the Golden State Warriors was held on 13 June 2019.

Considering the NBA Playoffs is approximately a three-month process, we’d be looking at the NBA using arenas until mid-September for playoff matches. Not including play. That isn’t including the possibility of regular season play resuming, which could add another month to proceedings.

League Executives are already encouraging teams to look into venue availability during the summer months. While NBA arenas are home to their respective teams, they’re also home to other entertainment during the offseason. Finding a home may be difficult.

How Will the NBA Manage Fan Attendance?

High-density areas are very much against the desires of the CDC. NBA games, and sports in general to that point, are just the types of event that can spark a mass outbreak of transmissions across affect parties.

The NBA has suggested that, should they return to play this season, there would be no fans in attendance.

It isn’t an unprecedented notion. Soccer leagues around the world have been playing without attendance, and the UFC just presented its Brasilia card without an audience, while even a Japanese sumo wrestling tournament moved its major spring competition behind closed doors.

While LeBron James has said he would not play without fans in attendance, then quickly backtracked on his statement, the NBA surely would not risk the dangers. It’s a difficult choice that needs to be made, but considering the NBA was the catalyst for mass shutdowns across the United States, it is certain to be an example of behavior.

NBA FAQs

Is the 2020 NBA Season still in progress?

No. The NBA season has come to a halt, due to the Coronavirus outbreak.

When will the 2020 NBA Season return?

NBA Front Offices and Executives are hoping to resume play during mid-to-late June.

Where will NBA games be held?

The NBA would hope to play their matches in teams’ home arenas. However, the NBA has encouraged franchises to find alternative venues should the need arise.

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