The NBA announced the structure and format for the 2020-21 season Tuesday night, including how exactly the upcoming schedule will be released.
The schedule will be released in two halves -- what the league is calling the First Half and the Second Half. The schedule for the First Half of the season, which will run from Dec. 22 to March 4, will be released around the start of training camp, set for Dec. 1.
The league won't release the schedule for the Second Half until later in the First Half. That will include the rest of each team's 72 regular-season games that weren't previously scheduled, as well as any games that were postponed in the First Half of the season that "can reasonably be added" to the rest of the schedule.
NBA Tentative 2020-21 Schedule Dec. 11-19: Preseason games Dec. 22-March 4: First half of regular season March 5-10: All-Star break March 11-May 16: Second half of regular season May 18-21: Play-In tournament May 22-July 22: Playoffs
The All-Star break is set to take place March 5-10, between the two halves.
The Second Half of the season will run from March 11 to May 16. The play-in tournament will be held from May 18 to 21 before the playoffs tip off May 22.
Each NBA team will play the teams within its conference three times for a total of 42 games, while playing the teams from the opposing conference twice each (30 games).
Within each team's division, the league has already assigned which opponents will be played twice at home, and which will be played twice on the road.
What our experts are watching during the NBA's wildest week Each division within a conference will then play all five teams from another intraconference division twice at home, and all five teams from the remaining division twice on the road.
The league said its board of governors unanimously approved the play-in tournament proposal on a one-year basis in a vote Thursday. The teams with the seventh- and eighth-highest winning percentages will have two chances to make the playoffs, while the teams with the ninth- and 10th-highest winning percentages will have one chance.
The "Seven-Eight Game" will be between the teams ranked seventh and eighth, while the "Nine-Ten Game" will feature the teams ranked ninth and 10th. The winner of the Seven-Eight Game will advance to the playoffs. The loser will host the winner of the Nine-Ten Game, as had been previously reported.
The NBA Finals are set to run through July 22. The Summer Olympics begin July 23 -- and the qualifying tournaments for the remaining four spots in the men's field are scheduled to run from June 29 to July 4.
1. "There is no sensibility in having a play-in tourney." In response to Reply # 0 Wed Nov-18-20 12:49 PM by allStah
Teams play at a high level during the regular to secure a playoff spot, only to have to play in a tourney to secure the same spot?
I could possibly see it with the 8th seed, where the winner of the 9th seed -10th seed game plays the 8th seed to get the last spot. But for the 7th seed to have to play in a qualifying tournament is totally unfair.
The NBA would be better off having a 1-14 playoff tourney in each conference. Give the top 2 teams in the conference a bye, have a knockout playoff round for the 3rd thru 14th seeds. The 6 teams from that round would then go on to play the 2 bye teams in a regular playoff series. The last place team in each conference is automatically eliminated from making the PO.
The regular season would still be highly competitive because teams would strive for a bye, instead of playing in a one game playoff, as well as not wanting to finish in last place
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3. "this should 100% be the timeline they stick with moving forward" In response to Reply # 0
I'd rather have a mid-season 3 on 3 tournament than a meaningless play in tournament, but I also get that the play in tournament is largely a cash grab vehicle to make up for early season games lost due to Covid