There's been a lot of interesting developments over the last week. It looks as if the best sport in the entire world is taking the necessary steps in a positive direction towards having the NBA season return. If you haven't been following closely, it's looking like the NBA will try to resume play at a single site. Orlando's Walt Disney World is looking like the location that will bring basketball back to our lives. It is also expected that this Friday, commissioner Adam Silver is expected to have a Board of Governors call to discuss a number of various aspects to the upcoming process, mainly an expected timeline.
There's been a lot of moving parts to this procedure, and it's been the obvious hot topic of discussion as of late. The elephant in the room as of now simply is "Are we playing regular season games still?" The NBA would like the opportunity to get to 70 regular season games, in order to collect the TV revenue. But it might prove to be more difficult than expected. Another serious question to ponder...why would we even risk having the "lottery-bound" teams fly to Orlando. If anything we want there to be the least amount of risk and potential health concerns for these players. Asking teams that have no chance to make the playoffs to send their entire roster and staff seems a bit ridiculous. Let's say that the NBA wanted to send those teams, you're talking about sending an additional 15 players per team, not including coaching staffs, front office personnel, etc. Trust me, that number get's up there in a hurry.
Another issue that the league needs to consider...injuries. There's already been plenty of trainers stressing that the time off for these players is leading to an increasing risk of injuries once these players return. So, that means it's going to be crucial that these projected "camps" have enough time to get the players ready for the grind of NBA games. There's also going to likely be less time off in between games with this new schedule, so players are going to be putting a lot more consistent stress on their bodies. Adam Silver has stressed to these players that there's going to be a lot of decisions made that players might not agree with, but that the league is facing it's most difficult challenge in the history of the sport.
So that leads us to one of the rumors going around the world wide web this morning. Apparently, there has been some rumblings that the league might elect to go with a 16-team playoff and no regular season.
Brian Windhorst just said on @GetUpESPN that there’s a “really good chance” the NBA elects to go with a 16-team playoff and no regular season.— Chris Grenham (@chrisgrenham) May 25, 2020
Added that it leaves open the possibility for seeding the teams 1-16, which would have to pass an owner vote.
Now obviously there's going to be a lot of "reports" coming out during this week, mainly because the basketball world is slightly expecting an official announcement as early as Friday, with Silver's reported phone call. But this idea has a lot of...questionable potential. I understand the desire to leave teams without a chance of the playoffs out of the Orlando experience. I have no problem with that, player safety is the most important thing here and if you can eliminate the risk in any way...you do it. But the playoff "re-seeding" sounds a bit insane. We would be throwing the old-school approach out the window, and now there's simply no conferences. This means with the projected bracket, we could see an NBA Finals featuring the Lakers and the Clippers, for example. Like Windhorst reported, this would all have to pass an owner vote (please don't pass it). I understand that this sport is in one of the most challenging situations in its history, but this idea might need to be altered.