The NBA will resume its official season in the early hours of Thursday to Friday, almost five months after the suspension caused by the coronavirus and in the unpublished Disney World ‘bubble’ in Orlando, where a total of 22 franchises face a battle for the ring that will not end until October.
The uncertainty that has surrounded the best league in the world for many weeks leads to this novel final phase that begins with good news with the coronavirus, since the NBA has confirmed that none of the 334 players who have been tested in the past week have tested positive.
The ‘bubble’ model, which has already been used successfully in the Spanish Endesa League, grows exponentially in Orlando, where they will be played a total of 84 games to end the season regular, before the ‘playoffs’ that will begin on August 17 and in the usual format, for the best of seven games.
The Hornets of Willy HernangómezAlong with the Chicago Bulls, New York Knicks, Detroit Pistons, Atlanta Hawks, Cleveland Cavaliers, Minnesota Timberwolves and Golden State Warriors are the eight teams that have not entered the ‘bubble’. Everyone else, with favoritism for Milwaukee Bucks in the East and Los Angeles Lakers in the West – leaders of their respective conferences – are allowed to dream.
Four Spaniards in action
Another consequence of this exceptional format is that the ‘field factor’ disappears and all duels will be played on three tracks: The Arena, HP Field House and Visa Athletic Center. To cushion the absence of the public, the NBA has turned to make its broadcasts more interactive with measures such as the installation of video boards of more than five meters that give visibility to 300 fans or the installation of more than 30 cameras and microphones even closer to the action.
Also, in this ‘new’ NBA too change the shirtssince players have the option to change their name on the back to slogans related to causes of social justice. Thus, the uniforms will be able to read phrases such as ‘Black Lives Matter’, ‘I Can’t Breathe’, ‘Power to the People’ or even the Spanish ‘Yes You Can’.
Finally, the Spanish representation will be made up of the current champions Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka (Raptors), Juancho Hernangómez (Nuggets) and Ricky Rubio (Suns). The first three already have a ticket to the ‘Playoffs’, while the Catalan base has a difficult time making it to the playoffs, but he aspires to lead his team’s comeback in this uncertain ‘bubble’ in Florida.
End of season schedule
July 30: games start.
August 17: start of the ‘Playoffs’.
August 31: beginning of the Conference Semifinals.
September 15: beginning of the Conference Finals.
September 30: start of the NBA Finals.
October 13: Last possible day to play the Finals.