Report: NBA Using Winning Percentage To Determine Standings As League Restarts Season

Jun 6, 2020, 6:10 PM | Updated: 8:52 pm

Chris Paul - Mike Conley - Oklahoma City Thunder - Utah Jazz...

Mike Conley #10 of the Utah Jazz guards Chris Paul #3 of the Oklahoma City Thunder during an opening night game at Vivint Smart Home Arena on October 23, 2019 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

(Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The NBA plans to use the current winning percentage of teams to determine standings as the league prepares to restart the 2019-20 season, according to ESPN’s Tim Bontemps.

The NBA and the NBA Players Association are currently negotiating terms to restart the season on July 31 in Orlando, Florida. On June 4, the NBA Board of Governors approved a plan for restarting the season and sent it to the Players Association for their ratification.

No games have been played since the league suspended its season on March 11 after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert became the first NBA player to test positive for the coronavirus disease, COVID-19.

“As the NBA continues to prepare for its return to the court next month in Orlando, it has determined that the order in the standings will be determined by winning percentage, league sources told ESPN,” Bontemps wrote.

In addition to having the standings determined by winning percentage, Bontemps said his sources told him that “ties will be broken via the league’s typical tie-breaking procedures.”

Bontemps highlighted that both the winning percentage and tie-breaking rules will impact the eight regular season games to be played in Florida and “could also have an effect on a potential play-in tournament ahead of the NBA playoffs.”

The league’s plan to return to action includes 22 teams. 13 of those teams are members of the Western Conference, including the No. 4 seed Jazz.

NBA Standings

As of March 12, the NBA standings were the following (only restart eligible teams listed):

Western Conference

  1. Los Angeles Lakers
  2. Los Angeles Clippers
  3. Denver Nuggets
  4. Utah Jazz
  5. Oklahoma City Thunder
  6. Houston Rockets
  7. Dallas Mavericks
  8. Memphis Grizzlies
  9. Portland Trail Blazers
  10. New Orleans Pelicans
  11. Sacramento Kings
  12. San Antonio Spurs
  13. Phoenix Suns

Eastern Conference

  1. Milwaukee Bucks
  2. Toronto Raptors
  3. Boston Celtics
  4. Miami HEAT
  5. Indiana Pacers
  6. Philadelphia 76ers
  7. Brooklyn Nets
  8. Orlando Magic
  9. Washington Wizards

Restarting the 2019-20 NBA Season

When played halted in March, some of the NBA’s teams had played more games than others. When the league restarts play in late July, the teams in Orlando will each play the same amount of regular season games to finish out the season before beginning postseason play.

“The 22 teams that are heading to Orlando have played varying numbers of games — anywhere from 63 (the San Antonio Spurs) on the low end to 67 (the Dallas Mavericks) on the high end,” Bontemps noted. “Because the league chose to have each of the 22 teams play eight “seeding games” in Orlando, that imbalance in the schedule will remain when those games have been completed.”

If there were to be a tie in winning percentage between teams at the end of the eight regular season games, the NBA’s tie-breaking procedures would kick in.

“That means the only potential play-in game the NBA will be playing is between the teams in eighth and ninth place after the eight seeding games — assuming the ninth-place team is within four games of the eighth-place team,” Bontemps wrote.

The ESPN writer specifically highlighted that the Brooklyn Nets, New Orleans Pelicans, Portland Trail Blazers, Sacramento Kings, and Washington Wizards are the teams most likely to be impacted.

The league and the NBPA are still finalizing the details of a restart and are expected to announce final plans in the coming week.

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  • Utah Jazz Standings


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Report: NBA Using Winning Percentage To Determine Standings As League Restarts Season