Los Angeles (AFP)
The NBA season, interrupted in March after Rudy Gobert's positive coronavirus test, will resume on July 30 in Orlando (Florida) with the French pivot from Utah who will face New Orleans, followed by the duel angelino Lakers-Clippers.
For the symbol, the NBA allowed Gobert and the Jazz to kick off a recovery like no other, with matches behind closed doors and under close surveillance in the Disney World bubble.
"Gobzilla" will compete against another "monster" of the racket, Zion Williamson, who will have the difficult mission of hooking the play-offs with the Pelicans, within a western conference where the Lakers and Clippers take center stage at the first and second places.
The two Los Angeles rivals will face off for the 4th time this season, a possible taste of a conference finale that many are expecting. For the moment Kawhi Leonard and Paul George lead 2 to 1 against LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
The next day, July 31, six of the 88 regular season games will take place, including the Milwaukee Bucks, who have the best record in the league, against the Boston Celtics, 3rd in the East.
The schedule provides for up to seven matches per day, with kick-offs between 12:00 p.m. (4:00 p.m. GMT) and 9:00 p.m. (1:00 p.m. GMT) on three different fields.
22 teams are concerned by this end of the championship. To the first eight of each conference (Milwaukee, Toronto, Boston, Miami, Indiana, Philadelphia, Brooklyn, Orlando to the east; Lakers, Clippers, Denver, Utah, Oklahoma City, Houston, Dallas, Memphis to the West) add six clubs within six games or less of 8th place in each conference (New Orleans, Phoenix, Portland, Sacramento, San Antonio to the west, and Washington to the east).
Each will play eight regular season games. After which, the play-off table will be almost known, since the first seven of each conference will be directly qualified. The 8th and last sesame will be, in the East as in the West, the object of a possible barrage.
Two scenarios will be possible. If the 9th is more than 4 games behind the 8th, the latter is directly qualified for the play-offs, without playing a play-off. If the 9th is 4 matches or less behind the 8th, the two face off in the play-off. The 8th must win once to qualify, the 9th must win twice.
The play-offs will then take place in a classic manner at the best of the seven games, for a final crowning on October 13 at the latest.
© 2020 AFP