The NBA schedule for the resumption of the 2019-2020 season is out.
Basketball is one step closer to returning to the hardcourt.
The NBA schedule for the restart of the season was released on Friday night so circle your calendars for the prospect of having basketball for the first time since mid-March when the league halted in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
It’s been a long time away from the court for the players, coaches and for fans of the game who haven’t had sports to occupy their attention for the last few months.
NBA showcasing Zion, LeBron and Kawhi in return to play.
NBA resumes play on July 30 with the Utah Jazz playing the New Orleans Pelicans and Zion Williamson at 6:30 p.m. ET and the Los Angeles Clippers and Kawhi Leonard meeting LeBron James, Anthony Davis and the Los Angeles Lakers in what could be a Western Conference Finals preview at 9 p.m. ET.
The next day sees the Grizzlies vs. Trail Blazers, Celtics vs. Bucks and Rockets vs. Mavericks, with the latter two games available to watch on ESPN. Set your DVR’s now.
You can see the entire NBA Orlando schedule here.
The hope is the Disney World campus the players and coaching and training staffs will reside in will be safer than playing in their home cities, but NBA Commissioner Adam Silver admits there is no risk-free solution. However, he stresses the NBA must find a way to adapt and not sit on the sidelines.
It is concerning that COVID-19 cases continue to spike in the state of Florida, but hopes isolating players will be enough to prevent another league-wide shutdown of play. Silver acknowledges they will be testing players daily and continue to work with Disney to increase testing for workers and admits another significant spread could put an end to the resumed season.
The release of the NBA schedule will help some fans find some positivity and look ahead to actual sporting events. The 22 teams playing in the resumed season will each play eight games to determine the seeding for the playoffs.
Watching the NBA games will be a departure from the normal game fans could watch on TNT, ESPN, ABC or their local affiliate. There won’t be any fans in attendance for the games, but the NBA is attempting to enhance the broadcast for the fans who will be watching from their homes.
Broadcasts will include increased camera angles, personalized alternative screens, enhanced audio of players and coaches (think players and coaches mic’d) and even virtual concerts and halftime shows. No word on whether Red Panda will host a virtual halftime show.
The return of the NBA will also see a maximum of seven games per day with tip-offs between noon and 9 p.m. with three courts holding the action with two reserved for nationally-televised games. The playoffs are scheduled to begin on Aug. 17 with the NBA Finals starting on Sept. 30.