The NBA board of governors has approved a 22-team plan for restarting the season at the Wide World of Sports complex at Disney World in Orlando, Florida in late July.
According to the plan, all 22 teams will play eight regular season games, and possible play-in games for the number 8 and 9 seeds before the playoffs begin. A formal schedule for the final eight games has yet to be released or announced.
In total, 13 Western Conference teams and nine Eastern Conference teams will be invited to Orlando, where one team will be crowned a champion six weeks later in early October.
As of March 11, when the league suspended play, only four teams had clinched playoff spots; the Milwaukee Bucks, Los Angeles Lakers Toronto Raptors, and Boston Celtics. The remaining 18 teams will fight for the final 12 playoff spots with every team that is within at least six games of the No. 8 seed invited to Orlando.
Among those teams, the Memphis Grizzlies, Portland Trail Blazers, New Orleans Pelicans, Sacramento Kings, and Phoenix Suns are all mathematically in contention of the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference.
In the Eastern Conference, the Washington Wizards are currently 5.5 games behind the Orlando Magic for the No. 8 seed.
Since the remaining eight games still fall short of the normal 82-game NBA season, the league has created a play-in series to determine the No. 8 seeds.
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If the No. 9 seed in either conference ends the eight-game regular season in Orlando within four games of the No. 8 seed, those two teams will meet in a best-of-two play-in series.
In that scenario, the No. 9 seed would have to win both of the two games to overtake the No. 8 seed and make the playoffs. If they lose even once, they are eliminated.
Once the final 16 teams and seedings are finalized, the playoffs will begin with each round consisting of a seven-game series.
Details of the NBA's restart plan are still being discussed and negotiated, but once both the board of governor's and NBPA are on board, those details can be ironed out between now and the July 31 start.
Among the details still yet to be negotiated are how much of players salaries will be lost, the final health guidelines and protocols, including testing and what happens if a player tests positive, as well as some sort of summer league for the eight NBA teams that are not invited to Orlando.
According to multiple reports, the players will be staying at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort and will be allowed to leave the resort should they chose to do so at their own risk.
However, the resort has swimming pools, restaurants, golf courses, game rooms, theaters, and anything else a player or his family would need for the duration of their season.
Players, coaches, staff, and employees at the resort will all be tested for COVID-19 daily and if anyone tests positive they will be immediately quarantined. All of the games will take place without fans.