When will the NBA restart the 2019-20 season?
The league halted operations on March 12 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. And, almost two months later, what the next step in the plan remains to be an open-ended question.
Recent rumblings have centered around canceling the season. Keep in mind that the league has yet to release a statement regarding this scenario.
But Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James sent out a tweet countering such a rumor:
Saw some reports about execs and agents wanting to cancel season??? That’s absolutely not true. Nobody I know saying anything like that. As soon as it’s safe we would like to finish our season. I’m ready and our team is ready. Nobody should be canceling anything. 👑
— LeBron James (@KingJames) April 30, 2020
The first step would be reopening practice facilities.
NBA games in Atlantic City or Disney World?
Besides figuring out when to start, league officials need to determine where the games will take place.
For instance, would the Philadelphia 76ers return to the Wells Fargo Center without fans?
No matter what location is picked, decisions will need to be made regarding quarantine and testing.
Earlier this spring, the idea of Atlantic City hosting the NBA playoffs was even circulating.
On the other hand, Walt Disney World becoming a possible solution is picking up steam.
There is an excess of 30,000 hotel rooms on the Disney property. One minor detail, however, is the resort is currently closed.
Where do the 76ers stand?
No matter where and when the NBA returns, there is still the unfinished business of the NBA regular season.
The Sixers and Indiana Pacers have identical 39-26 records, putting both teams in the thick of the Eastern Conference playoff race. Both teams still need to clinch playoff berths when the season resumes.
Philly had 17 games postponed due to COVID-19.
More importantly, how would they actually fare playing away from home?
A 10-24 road record isn’t worthy of bragging rights.
The upside is only the Milwaukee Bucks, Toronto Raptors and Boston Celtics have clinched a trip to the bonus round. That leaves five spots up for grabs.
In the Western Conference, only the Lakers have qualified.
As far as the format goes, there are several factors up in the air:
- The NBA finishing the regular season.
- Skipping it and going straight to a postseason tournament.
- The number of games each team could play in a week.
- The impact of the NBA Draft (June 25) and the next season.
Talking NBA odds
Assuming the league returns in June or July, there is some unfinished NBA betting business to address.
Conversations of which team is favored to win the NBA title are sure to resume soon unless Belarusian soccer is now your thing.
BetMGM Sportsbook has the Bucks (+240) and Lakers (+250) leading the pack. The Los Angeles Clippers (+325) are not far behind.
There are several other teams bunched together:
- Rockets +1200
- Celtics +2000
- Nuggets +2000
- Heat +2000
- Sixers +2000
- Raptors +2000
- Jazz +2500
But this can be a conversation for another day. If the NBA doesn’t return, the odds will not matter.
Option A has a much better ring to it. Stay tuned.