Will the NBA superstars play in Orlando?
PLAYERS who are hedging or fence-sitting on whether to travel to Orlando for the resumption of NBA play at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex only have until June 24 (June 25 Manila time) to inform the league of their decision.
Any player who voluntarily declines to play will not be paid his salary. But there won’t be any other punishment from the league.
Then again, if any vital player on the regular rotation of the 22 invited member clubs decides to sit out the NBA restart, it will likely affect team chemistry and even the chances of his team’s title quest.
Players, including international stars, and essential team staff members (coaches, trainers or medical personnel) going to Orlando have been advised to return to their home markets on June 22 (June 23 MT) so that each one of them can be administered both a COVID-19 test and an antibody test the following day.
The tests will be done every other day as well as the two days directly before the team leaves for Walt Disney World.
All 22 NBA teams – 13 from the Western Conference and nine from the Eastern Conference – are slated to arrive at WDW between July 7 and 9.
The East teams: 1-Milwaukee (53-12), 2-Toronto (46-18), 3-Boston (43-21), 4-Miami (41-24), 5-Indiana (39-26), 6-Philadelphia (39-26), 7-Brooklyn (30-34), 8-Orlando (30-35) and 9-Washington (24-40).
The West teams: 1-LA Lakers (49-14), 2-LA Clippers (44-20), 3-Denver (43-22), 4-Utah (41-23), 5-Oklahoma City (40-24), 6-Houston (40-24), 7-Dallas (40-27), 8-Memphis (32-33), 9-Portland (29-37), 10-New Orleans (28-36), 11-Sacramento (28-36), 12-San Antonio (27-36) and 13-Phoenix (26-39).
Each team will play eight regular season games from July 30-August 14 (July 31-August 15 MT) with no fans in attendance.
The top eight teams from each conference qualifying for the playoffs, with all four rounds being best-of-seven affairs.
Should the No. 9 seed finish the regular within four games of the No. 8 seed, a play-in tournament would be held on August 15-16. The No. 8 team will enjoy a twice-to-beat incentive.
If a play-in series is not needed, the playoffs will be advanced to August 15 or 16. If needed, the post season commences on August 17.
The NBA Finals will be held from September 30-October 13. Originally, Game 7 of the Finals, was slated for October 12.
Each team can carry 17 players, including their two marginals with two-way contracts, to Orlando.
Limited number of family members or guests will only be allowed to go to Disney on August 30 or only after the first-round playoffs.
A 125-page health and safety manual detailing the step-by-step protocols from the June workouts, July training camps through the regular season, and playoff games through October in Disney World is being distributed to all parties.
Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Daisy Duck, Goofy and Pluto will be in Disney World to entertain the teams. Pardon my exaggeration.
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