Saturday 28 November, 2020

NBA 2020-21 season: Schedule in 2 halves, Play-In Tournament confirmed

In this Aug. 15, 2020, file photo, Portland Trail Blazers' Jusuf Nurkic (27) and Memphis Grizzlies' Jonas Valanciunas (17) reach for the opening tip in an NBA basketball play-in game in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The 2020-21 NBA schedule will feature a play-in tournament and an NBA Finals that could run all the way until July 22 — keeping some players from competing in the Olympics. (Kevin C. Cox/Pool Photo via AP, File).

In this Aug. 15, 2020, file photo, Portland Trail Blazers' Jusuf Nurkic (27) and Memphis Grizzlies' Jonas Valanciunas (17) reach for the opening tip in an NBA basketball play-in game in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The 2020-21 NBA schedule will feature a play-in tournament and an NBA Finals that could run all the way until July 22 — keeping some players from competing in the Olympics. (Kevin C. Cox/Pool Photo via AP, File).

The NBA has revealed the format and structure for the 2020-21 season, which will begin on December 22.

The schedule will be split into two halves, with fixtures for the first half released on December 1.

That first half will run from December 22 to March 4, with the All-Star break coming before the second half begins on March 11.

The second-half schedule will comprise the remaining 72 games and will include any that were called off in the first half, with the threat of coronavirus-enforced postponements still present.

Organisers also confirmed there will be a Play-In Tournament to decide which teams will take the seventh and eighth playoff seeds in each conference.

That tournament will include the teams with winning percentages that rank them between seventh and 10th in each conference.

The NBA's 75th regular season will see teams play conference rivals three times each, with two games apiece against those from the opposing conference.

In its statement, the NBA defined its proposed schedule as "tentative", with the much-anticipated Playoffs primed for May 22 to July 22.

The NBA Draft takes place on Wednesday ahead of a season in which the Los Angeles Lakers will be seeking to defend their title.

Frank Vogel's men beat the Miami Heat to conclude a Playoff that was played out at Walt Disney World Resort, Florida amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

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