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Walt Disney World Resort(Photo by Jacqueline Nell/Disneyland Resort via Getty Images)
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NBA, Players Association Announce Finalized Plan For Restart Of 2019-20 Season On July 30

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association announced that the two parties have finalized an agreement to restart the 2019-20 season beginning on July 30 in Orlando, Florida.

In a statement, the league and NBPA said that the restart plan “includes stringent health and safety protocols, a single-site campus at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and the goal of taking collective action to combat systemic racism and promote social justice.”

The regular season will be completed by 22 teams at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex with no fans in attendance.

“We’re glad to be able to provide a unique venue where the NBA can resume its season at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex,” said Josh D’Amaro, Chairman, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products.  “We look forward to welcoming the players, coaches and staff to Walt Disney World Resort as they prepare for the exciting return of professional basketball.”

The NBA and the NBPA said that health and safety protocols of the restart plan would “govern the resumption of the season.”

“The rigorous program, which addresses risks related to COVID-19 and focuses on the well-being of players, coaches, officials and staff, was developed in consultation with public health experts, infectious disease specialists and government officials,” the parties said in a statement.

In addition to announcing plans to finish out the season and crown a champion, the league said that it will use its platform “to find tangible and sustainable ways to address racial inequality across the country.”

“We have worked together with the Players Association to establish a restart plan that prioritizes health and safety, preserves competitive fairness and provides a platform to address social justice issues,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver said. “We are grateful to our longtime collaborator Disney for its role in playing host and making this return to play possible, and we also thank the public health officials and infectious disease specialists who helped guide the creation of comprehensive medical protocols and protections.”

NBA Restart Format

Under the league’s restart format for the restart, the 22 NBA teams participating in the plan will play eight “seeding games” to close out the regular season. The games will be selected from the teams’ remaining regular-season matchups.

After the “seeding games” are played, the top seven teams from each conference will automatically advance to the NBA Playoffs.

According to the league’s plan, the final seed for the postseason in each conference could potentially feature a play-in tournament.

“If the team with the eighth-best combined winning percentage (regular-season games and seeding games) in a conference is more than four games ahead of the team with the ninth-best combined winning percentage in the same conference, then the team with the eighth-best winning percentage would be the eighth playoff seed in that conference,” the NBA said. “If the team with the eighth-best combined winning percentage in a conference (Team 8) is four games or fewer ahead of the team with the ninth-best combined winning percentage in the same conference (Team 9), then those two teams would compete in a play-in tournament to determine the eighth playoff seed in the conference.  The play-in tournament will be double elimination for Team 8 and single elimination for Team 9.”

The restart plan states that the league’s standard playoff tiebreaker procedures will be used to break any ties on winning percentage.

After the 16 teams have qualified for the postseason and the playoff field is set, the “NBA Playoffs will proceed in a traditional conference-based format with four rounds and best-of-seven series in each round.”

The latest the NBA Finals would conclude is if a Game 7 were to take place on October 13.

Game and national television schedules for the regular season “seeding games” will be announced on Friday, June 26.