There have still been no determinations made as to whether the NBA will attempt to finish the 2019-20 season, due to the uncertain future regarding the treatment and suppression of the coronavirus. Commissioner Adam Silver has said the league won’t even be able to make any decisions, and there have been many proposed plans as to how the season could resume once given the all-clear.
Few details have emerged thus far about a potential return to basketball, but on Sunday ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reported that executives and trainers have been discussing a 25-day plan for the season to resume.
“What they’re looking at is a 25-day return to basketball window. Hopefully at some point they can enact it,” Windhorst said. “An 11-day series of individual workouts, where there’d be social distancing for a period of time, and then hopefully, if the clearance comes that they can play five-on-five basketball, a 14-day training camp.”
It’s been more than a month since the NBA shut down, with some players or facilities, so it makes sense that teams wouldn’t simply be able to resume business as usual once it is deemed safe. That said, the 25-day estimate is a dose of reality some may not have been thinking about. This means that, for example, if the NBA can resume activities at the beginning of June, they wouldn’t actually play games until July, potentially.
At this point, it seems unlikely that the league would be able to resume the regular season (teams have anywhere between 13-16 games remaining), so they would have to go directly to the playoffs in an effort to crown a 2020 champion. What that postseason looks like, however, is anyone’s guess. Some have suggested an abbreviated, eight-team playoff with best-of-three series instead of best-of-seven. Some have even suggested a single-elimination, NCAA Tournament-style bracket. However, as Silver said, the league can’t start making any plans until they have a better idea of how the nation, and the world, is controlling the spread of the coronavirus.