The race for the playoffs spots is fast approaching as the NBA is about to return, but possibly with only 22 teams battling survival.
According to a report from The Athletic, the Board of Governors of the NBA is expected to affirm a league proposal that would pick up the regular season in Orlando, Florida using a 22-team format.
It was also added that the decision is scheduled to be made on Thursday at 12:30 p.m., but three-fourths of the current 30 NBA teams should ratify the proposal.
The alternative plan includes nine Eastern Conference teams and 13 Western Conference teams that will play eight regular-season games before proceeding to the playoffs which usually ends early in June.
According to CNN, the 22 teams that will be playing include top eight teams both in Western and Eastern Conferences and for the six remaining teams they are those franchises that can reach the eight spot within six games and that includes Portland Trailblazers New Orleans Pelicans, Sacramento Kings, San Antonio Spurs, Washington Wizards, and Phoenix Suns.
ESPN also reported that the season restart would begin July 31 and if there will be a chance for an NBA Finals Game 7, it will be set as scheduled on October 12.
However, when the League was asked about the said reports, they did not mention any comment about the progress.
Suspension due to pandemic
The League suspended its season after the Utah Jazz Center Rudy Gobert tested positive with COVID-19 on March 11.
Despite the urgent suspension of the regular season by Adam Silver, four members of the Brooklyn Nets including their star Kevin Durant who at that time still recovering from his torn Achilles tendon in the sidelines after acquiring the injury in the 2019 NBA Finals tested positive with coronavirus.
The Brooklyn Nets organization also released an official statement at that time confirming that four of their players tested positive with coronavirus, and three of them are asymptomatic which means they do not display any sign of having the virus while the other exhibits symptoms cause by COVID-19.
The global health crisis did not only delay the NBA regular season but also forced many other US sports organizations like NFL and MLB to consider adjustments, which includes the cancellation of events, drafts, scouting, and holding the games without their fans.
According to the spokesman of the NBA Mike Bass, the season could resume if the games will be held at Disney's ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex which is near Orlando, Florida, as it will serve as a center for practices, games, and housing of the players.
Family members of teams which are expected to make a deep playoff run may also be allowed if both parties will agree on a certain arrangement.