Starting July 7, NBA players will begin arriving in Orlando for the restart of the NBA season.
There remain questions about the health and safety procedures for players when they arrive — and exactly which players will arrive under the new roster rules laid out by the league — but we have a sense of the schedule now, thanks to Shams Charania of The Athletic.
The tentative schedule is:
• July 31: The “seeding games” begin, eight games per team
• Aug. 16-17: Play-in tournament (if needed, maximum two games back-to-back)
• Aug. 18: First round of playoffs begins
• Sept. 1: Second round of playoffs begins
• Sept. 15: Conference Finals begin
• Sept. 30: NBA Finals begin
This schedule has teams playing every other day, both during the “seeding games” (with one back-to-back per team) and throughout the playoffs. That includes the 2020 NBA Finals, except there will be a three-day break at one point (very likely between Game 6 and 7, pushing Game 7 to a Monday night rather than a Sunday during the NFL season).
While players will come in rested after the coronavirus-forced break, playing every other day for a couple of months could lead to some heavy legs for veterans as the playoffs move on. It’s something to watch.