With regards to the 2019-20 NBA season, two things seem pretty clear. One, the season will resume sometime in July. Two, all signs point to the league gathering in a single location – Walt Disney World in Orlando appears to be the destination – to finish out the 2019-20 campaign.
What has never been clear since NBA commissioner Adam Silver suspended the season on March 11 is exactly how the league would continue. Finishing the regular season – teams had roughly 14 games remaining – and the postseason as in a normal year does not seem like a reasonable option. It would simply take too much time.
There have been a myriad of possible solutions presented, discussed, and debated. The most recent idea is a World Cup-like pool play tournament. The NBA recently polled all of its general managers to get their feedback on a number of options, including this one.
The pool play option could include all 30 NBA teams, though there are options for just the current 16 playoff teams and another for 20 teams. Teams would be divided into Groups of four teams each just as they are for the World Cup (that is why the options for 16 and 20 teams make the most sense).
Teams would play each team in their group twice. The two teams with the best record would advance. Using the 16-team model, the results of pool play would yield eight teams. Those eight teams would then compete in more NBA-like fashion playing seven-game series to determine the final champion.
Another being proposed is allowing the top teams in the league – Bucks, Raptors, Lakers, Clippers – to select their group opponents. That could add an element of intrigue and, more importantly, it is something that could be televised. Sports hungry fans would almost certainly flock to watch after going two months with virtually no sports activity.
How the NBA finishes the 2019-20 season has yet to be determined, but fans can bet that it surely will not be in the traditional mold.