The coronavirus pandemic, which has been wreaking havoc across the globe, had brought the competition to a halt in April.
Format of the competition
Upon return, each of the teams will compete in eight seeding games, which have been selected from the remaining regular season match-ups.
In all, seven teams from each conference – with the best combined records across regular season matches and seeding games – would automatically qualify for the play-offs. If the team with the eighth-best combined record is four games or fewer ahead of the team with the ninth-best combined record, the sides would compete in a play-in tournament to decide the eighth play-off spot, in both the conferences.
Once all these matches are done, the traditional play-offs format will follow, with the best-of-seven series in the first round, conference semi-finals, conference finals and NBA Finals being hosted.
Teams in the fray
Eastern Conference: Milwaukee Bucks, Toronto Raptors, Boston Celtics, Miami Heat, Indiana Pacers, Philadelphia 76ers, Brooklyn Nets, Orlando Magic and Washington Wizards.
Western Conference: Los Angeles Lakers, LA Clippers, Denver Nuggets, Utah Jazz, Oklahoma City Thunder, Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks, Memphis Grizzlies, Portland Trail Blazers, New Orleans Pelicans, Sacramento Kings, San Antonio Spurs and Phoenix Suns.
The rest of the NBA season will take place at the Walt Disney World Resort, wherein three venues will be used for games, training sessions and housing.
Guidelines and medical protocols
If a player is tested positive, he will be isolated and retested to make sure it isn’t a false positive case. If confirmed, the player will undergo a period of rest and recovery which will last for at least 14 days. The player will be restricted from exercise and will have to pass cardiac tests before making a return.
If a team feels a player is at high risk of contracting the coronavirus, he can be designated a ‘protected’ player, would doesn’t have to report and will not lose salary. Also, a panel of three medical experts will review players’ medical histories.
Each team can have up to 37 people in the NBA campus, including players, coaches, trainers, strength coaches, equipment managers, and security and front-office personnel.
There will be no outside fans, but a few people will be seen in the stands. A limited number of players can attend games that they aren’t part of. Limited media, team executives, league and union personnel as well as some sponsors will also be present.