NBA Season Restart: Key Dates, Team Schedules, Odds to Make Playoffs, More
Photo credit: Harry How/Getty Images. Pictured: Kawhi Leonard & LeBron James
Despite everything going on in the world right now, it looks like the NBA is pressing on towards its season restart beginning July 30. The playoffs will begin August 17, with potential play-in games on the 15th and 16th.
If you’ve missed the details, we have them covered. Here’s the short version: 22 teams will travel to Orlando, Fla., where they’ll play eight seeding games. There’s a potential play-in for the East’s and West’s No. 8-seed, and then the playoffs will begin as normal.
What we’ve been missing is the exact schedule for the final eight seeding games, but no longer. Check out the schedule below.
NBA Season Restart Schedule
The league will kick things off with fireworks, pitting Zion Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans against the Utah Jazz and the Los Angeles Clippers vs. LA Lakers on the opening night on July 30.
Six games will take place the following night: Magic vs. Nets, Grizzlies vs. Blazers, Suns vs. Wizards, Celtics vs. Bucks, Kings vs. Spurs and Rockets vs. Mavericks.
See the full schedule by date below:
Eastern Conference Records
The top six teams in the East are obviously safe to make it into the playoffs, and the Magic will have to battle the Wizards and Nets for the final eighth spot. Given that the Magic are 5.5 games up, though, they’re highly likely to get it.
There are some seeding questions to be answered, particularly in the middle of the field. The Pacers and 76ers are currently tied for the fifth spot and are two games behind the Heat for the third seed.
Remember, though, that seeding might be less important in this Orlando setting without traditional home court. Teams will likely prioritize health and matchups, with an emphasis on the former.
Western Conference Records
The Lakers are 5.5 games up on the field and are highly likely to grab the West’s top overall seed even if they coast in Orlando. The Clippers will have to fend off the Nuggets especially, who are just 1.5 games back for the No. 2-seed.
The real battle, though, is for the final playoff spot. The Grizzlies currently own it and have a 3.5-game lead on the Pelicans, Blazers and Kings, who are all tied currently. The Spurs are a half-game back of them, and the Suns — well, who knows what the Suns are doing in Orlando.
Note that the No. 8-seed will participate in a play-in scenario with the No. 9-seed after the final eight games if the latter is within four games. The 8-seed will have to win once while the 9-seed will have to win two in a row to get a playoff berth.
Seeding will also be important: The Nuggets, Jazz, Rockets and Thunder are all within 2.5 games of each other, and the Rockets and Thunder are currently tied for the fifth.
Odds to Make the NBA Playoffs
|Team||Make Playoff||Miss Playoff|
|New Orleans Pelicans||+400||-670|
|Portland Trail Blazers||+350||-590|
|San Antonio Spurs||+1300||-10000|