NBA Restart - Fast Facts
June 27, 2020
By VI News
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The NBA will have 22 teams travel to Orlando, Florida and those clubs will each play eight seeding games before the NBA Playoffs are set.
Start Date: Thursday, July 30
End Date: Friday, Aug. 14
Total Games: 88
Location: Orlando, Florida
Venues: Wide World of Sports Complex
The 22 clubs consist of the 16 teams in current playoff positions, eight from the Eastern and Western Conferences. The remaining six teams are currently six games or fewer behind the eighth seed in each conference.
The new twist that the NBA has added will be a possible play-in tournament for the 8th seed in each conference. If a 9th seeded team is within four games of the 8th seed, then those teams will square off in a head-to-head matchup for the 8th seed.
The 9th seeded team must defeat the 8th seed twice in order to claim the playoff berth while the 8th seed only needs one victory to advance to the NBA Playoffs.
Who will win the No. 8 seeds in the East and West?
2020 NBA Playoffs
Schedules & Start Dates
The NBA announced that the last possible date for Game 7 of the NBA Finals would take place on Tuesday, Oct. 13
Play-In Games: Saturday, Aug. 15 and Sunday, Aug. 16
First Round: Monday, Aug. 17
Conference Semifinals: Monday, Aug. 31
Conference Finals: Tuesday, Sept. 15
NBA Finals: Wednesday, Sept. 30
Betting Odds and Line Movements
On Thursday, July 30, the NBA regular season will resume with a TNT doubleheader that starts at 6:30 p.m. ET.
Utah (-1) vs. New Orleans, Total 222.5
Friday's card on July 31 will feature six games and the action begins at 2:30 p.m. ET with the Magic and Nets and wraps up with a solid battle between the Rockets and Mavericks.
L.A. Clippers (-1.5) vs. L.A. Lakers, Total 220.5
Orlando (-2) vs. Brooklyn, Total 212.5
The August 1st slate has five games with the Heat and Nuggets meeting in the afternoon slot at 1:00 p.m. ET. Saturday's card will also feature all four teams that played on Thursday.
Memphis vs. Portland (-1), Total 222.5
Phoenix (-3) vs. Washington, Total 231.5
Boston vs. Milwaukee (-5.5), Total 217.5
Sacramento (-3) vs. San Antonio, Total 216.5
Houston (-1.5) vs. Dallas, Total 225.5
Miami vs. Denver (-1), Total 212.5
Utah (-1) vs. Oklahoma City, Total 211.5
New Orleans vs. L.A. Clippers (-5), Total 2226.5
Philadelphia (-4) vs. Indiana, Total 210.5
L.A. Lakers (-3.5) vs. Toronto, Total 213.5
Daily Game Breakdown
There will be a total of 88 games played from July 30 through August 14, with as many as seven games scheduled daily.
The earliest tip is set for 12:30 p.m. ET while the latest game will start at 9:00 p.m. ET.
TNT, ESPN and NBATV will be providing national broadcasts daily on select games while the status of other games will likely be shown regionally or on NBA League Pass.
Thursday July 30: 2 Games
Friday July 31: 6 Games
Saturday Aug. 1: 5 Games
Sunday Aug. 2: 6 Games
Monday, Aug. 3: 6 Games
Tuesday, Aug. 4: 6 Games
Wednesday, Aug. 5: 6 Games
Thursday, Aug. 6: 6 Games
Friday, Aug. 7: 6 Games
Saturday, Aug. 8: 5 Games
Sunday, Aug. 9: 7 Games
Monday, Aug. 10: 5 Games
Tuesday, Aug. 11: 7 Games
Wednesday, Aug. 12: 4 Games
Thursday, Aug. 13: 7 Games
Friday, Aug. 14: 4 Games
BOSTON: 7/31 Bucks, 8/2 Blazers, 8/4 Heat, 8/5 Nets, 8/7 Raptors, 8/9 Magic, 8/11 Grizzlies, 8/13 Wizards
Facing a three-game deficit in the Atlantic Division, the Celtics benefit from an extremely soft schedule outside of their first game against East-leading Milwaukee. A head-to-head meeting with Toronto gives Boston the chance to realistically finish as the No. 2 seed since it should be favored in no less than six of its eight regular-season games.
BROOKLYN: 7/31 Magic, 8/2 Wizards, 8/4 Bucks, 8/5 Celtics, 8/7 Kings, 8/9 Clippers, 8/11 Magic, 8/13 Blazers
The Nets can take care of the Wizards early, assuring themselves a playoff spot. With a pair of games against Orlando on tap, they’ll be able to dictate holding on to the East’s No. 7 seed too. A back-to-back against the Bucks and Celtics will probably feature a game where Nets coach Jacque Vaughn fields a lineup filled exclusively with reserves.
INDIANA: 8/1 76ers, 8/3 Wizards, 8/4 Magic, 8/6 Suns, 8/8 Lakers, 8/10 Heat, 8/12 Rockets, 8/14 Heat
As detailed by Indianapolis Star beat writer J. Michael on the June 26 VI “Bet and Collect” podcast, the Pacers expect to use a collective approach to dispensing minutes. That may ultimately lead to Indiana winding up with the No. 6 seed but a pair of games against the Heat late in the “seeding” schedule does afford it an opportunity to control its destiny in moving up.
MIAMI: 8/1 Nuggets, 8/3 Raptors, 8/4 Celtics, 8/6 Bucks, 8/8 Suns, 8/10 Pacers, 8/12 Thunder, 8/14 Pacers
An incredibly tough first four games awaits the Heat, which includes three games in four days to open August. Those final games of Indiana will likely dictate where Miami winds up in the 4-6 range, potentially giving them an opportunity to determine its opponent by either rising up or laying down in the final few games.
MILWAUKEE: 7/31 Celtics, 8/2 Rockets, 8/4 Nets, 8/6 Heat, 8/8 Mavs, 8/10 Raptors, 8/11 Wizards, 8/13 Grizzlies
They’ll be able to sew up the East’s top seed pretty quickly, which makes the Bucks a candidate to rest players down the stretch. That Aug. 10 game against Toronto may be fairly meaningless, so with a game against Washington the next day, it wouldn’t be surprising to see most regulars sit. There will likely be value in fading Milwaukee until the postseason arrives.
ORLANDO: 7/31 Nets, 8/2 Kings, 8/4 Pacers, 8/5 Raptors, 8/7 76ers, 8/9 Celtics, 8/11 Nets, 8/13 Pelicans
It remains to be seen whether x-factor Jonathan Isaac commits to playing, but Orlando could make noise in its backyard if he does. With a pair of matchups against Brooklyn in store, the Magic will control its destiny in avoiding the Bucks and the No. 8 seed. That finale against New Orleans will also have plenty of eyes on it since the Pels will be looking to move up to at least the No. 9 series to give itself a shot at making the playoffs.
PHILADELPHIA: 8/1 Pacers, 8/3 Spurs, 8/5 Wizards, 8/7 Magic, 8/9 Blazers, 8/11 Suns , 8/12 Raptors , 8/14 Grizzlies
Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons were banged up on March 11, so Philadelphia is one of the teams that most benefited from this COVID-19 hiatus. The schedule is their friend too since the 76ers will be favored in all but maybe one of their games. That outlier, against Toronto on the second night of a back-to-back, may present an opportunity to rest players, but there’s no question Philly can move up as high as third with a strong run. It holds a tiebreaker on Boston by virtue of a 3-1 edge in their head-to-head meetings and a perfect run may help that come into play.
TORONTO: 8/1 Lakers, 8/3 Heat, 8/5 Magic, 8/7 Celtics, 8/9 Grizzlies, 8/10 Bucks, 8/12 76ers , 8/14 Nuggets
The Atlantic Division leaders have a tough slate accentuated by the fact they have to face both conference leaders, the heads of the Northwest and Southeast and the teams chasing them in their top-heavy division. The Raptors began their journey earlier than everyone else upon escaping Canada and are adamant about defending their championship despite no longer counting on Kawhi Leonard so this will definitely be an opportunity to pick up additional confidence.
WASHINGTON: 7/31 Suns, 8/2 Nets, 8/3 Pacers, 8/5 76ers, 8/7 Pelicans, 8/9 Thunder, 8/11 Bucks, 8/13 Celtics
The lone team with a winning percentage lower than .400 to be invited into the Orlando bubble is likely to be playing spoiler for most of their ride. With Davis Bertans sitting out and any John Wall/DeMarcus Cousins infusion waiting until December, the 2019-20 season theme of hopping on Bradley Beal’s back should continue with the Wizards likely to be an underdog in all their games.
DALLAS: 7/31 Rockets, 8/2 Suns, 8/4 Kings, 8/6 Clippers, 8/8 Bucks, 8/10 Jazz, 8/11 Blazers , 8/13 Suns
The Mavs can realistically finish anywhere from fourth to seventh and still have a Southwest title within reach. That opener against the Rockets will go a long way in dictating their fortunes since half of their games will be played against teams that currently wouldn’t reach the playoffs. Dallas had the third-highest road win percentage in the West this past season, which bodes well for its ability to get acclimated to the bubble since it struggled at home.
DENVER: 8/1 Heat, 8/3 Thunder, 8/5 Spurs, 8/6 Blazers, 8/8 Jazz, 8/10 Lakers , 8/12 Clippers , 8/14 Raptors
Nikola Jokic has trimmed down and should be fully recovered from a bout with COVID-19 by the time action tips off. The Nuggets would be best served taking care of business early since they’re likely to be favored in their first five games but may be underdogs in their last three contests against the L.A. teams and defending champ Toronto.
HOUSTON: 7/31 Mavs, 8/2 Bucks, 8/4 Blazers, 8/6 Lakers, 8/9 Kings, 8/11 Spurs, 8/12 Pacers, 8/14 76ers
The Rockets will probably take one of the games in their late back-to-back off but have otherwise picked up a favorable draw that includes consecutive off days before a game with Sacramento on Aug. 9. Tests against the Lakers and Bucks will test small ball’s championship mettle, but Houston should cruise to a Southwest Division title and top-four seed if it handles its business against Dallas early. Given their style, you figure Mike D’Antoni would love to give his key guys those final few games prior to the playoffs off so he can lean on them heavily early in the first round.
L.A. CLIPPERS: 7/30 Lakers, 8/1 Pelicans, 8/4 Suns, 8/6 Mavs, 8/8 Blazers, 8/9 Nets, 8/12 Nuggets, 8/14 Thunder
Catching the Lakers for the No. 1 seed will require a win in that opener that all eyes will be on in addition to a Lakers’ slide. L.A.’s schedule is pretty manageable so don’t write off their chances of running the table since they’ll face only one other division leader (Denver) besides L.A. and four teams that enter the bubble under .500. Beating the Nuggets on Aug. 12 should at least clinch the No. 2 seed, fulfilling the team goal of avoiding their Staples Center roommates until the Western Conference finals.
L.A. LAKERS: 7/30 Clippers, 8/1 Raptors, 8/3 Jazz, 8/5 Thunder, 8/6 Rockets, 8/8 Pacers, 8/10 Nuggets, 8/13 Kings
It’s easy to forget that L.A. fell to the Nets at home prior to the coronavirus break, so they’ll be looking to avoid what would be just their third losing streak of the season when they tangle with the Clips. The Lakers’ next win will be their 50th of the season, a figure they fell short of in LeBron James’ first season. I can’t imagine Lawrence Frank will let James, Anthony Davis and other key players go out there on the second night of a back-to-back against the Rockets, so that marquee matchup will have to wait until the playoffs if it happens at all.
MEMPHIS: 7/31 Blazers, 8/2 Spurs, 8/3 Pelicans, 8/5 Jazz, 8/7 Thunder, 8/9 Raptors, 8/11 Celtics, 8/13 Bucks
Holding on to that No. 8 seed so that they only have to win once in a potential “play-in” situation is the team goal for the young Grizzlies. Grind City Media beat writer Michael Wallace joined the June 5 VI “Bet and Collect” podcast to talk about the health of the West’s biggest surprise and anticipates newcomer Justise Winslow may finally have an impact. Getting off to a solid start is essential given how tough the schedule gets in Memphis’ second week of action in the bubble.
NEW ORLEANS: 7/30 Jazz, 8/1 Clippers, 8/3 Grizzlies, 8/6 Kings, 8/7 Wizards, 8/9 Spurs, 8/11 Kings, 8/13 Magic
It’s no secret that the NBA would love to see Zion Williamson lead the Pelicans into the playoffs and this schedule goes a long way in helping them to get there. Beyond the head-to-head date with Memphis, New Orleans faces Sacramento twice in addition to a Spurs squad missing LaMarcus Aldridge and the bottom-two teams in the East. The Pels will be favored more than they aren’t.
OKLAHOMA CITY: 8/1 Jazz, 8/3 Nuggets, 8/5 Lakers, 8/7 Grizzlies, 8/9 Wizards, 8/10 Suns, 8/12 Heat, 8/14 Clippers
The Thunder had games against the Wolves, Hawks, Hornets, Warriors and Knicks among the next 14 games scheduled to be played prior to the interruption of the season, so they’re one of the teams that could wind up most affected by the hiatus. OKC will play the four teams ahead of it in the West standings in addition to other teams positioned to reach the postseason, so slipping to No. 7 is possible if Billy Donovan’s team can’t find their footing.
PHOENIX: 7/31 Wizards, 8/2 Mavs, 8/4 Clippers, 8/6 Pacers, 8/8 Heat, 8/10 Thunder, 8/11 76ers, 8/13 Mavs
The Suns were dealt a blow when Kelly Oubre opted not to risk his health, taking the team’s top two-way wing out of the equation. Reaching the bubble is still a major win for Phoenix, and Arizona Republic beat writer Duane Rankin joined the June 18 VI “Bet and Collect” podcast (starting 18:41) to talk about the team’s prospects behind young stars Devin Booker and DeAndre Ayton. They’ll play the Mavs twice and split with them earlier this season, winning the last meeting 133-104 in Dallas on Jan. 28. Phoenix doesn’t have much room for error but will have a chance to leapfrog some of the teams in front of it in Orlando.
PORTLAND: 7/31 Grizzlies, 8/2 Celtics, 8/4 Rockets, 8/6 Nuggets, 8/8 Clippers, 8/9 76ers, 8/11 Mavs, 8/13 Nets
Currently the No. 9 seed that would suit up against the Grizzlies for the final Western Conference playoff spot, Portland is hoping that getting Jusuf Nurkic and Zack Collins back will help put it over the top. The Blazers won’t have small forward Trevor Ariza available and must pull off an upset or two to remain in line for a play-in but can send a message to Memphis in their bubble opener. They should be able to pick up a win in their finale against Brooklyn, but it remains to be seen whether they’ll have done enough before then to make it count.
SACRAMENTO: 7/31 Spurs, 8/2 Magic, 8/4 Mavs, 8/6 Pelicans, 8/7 Nets, 8/9 Rockets , 8/11 Pelicans , 8/13 Lakers
Buddy Hield, Jabari Parker and Alex Len should be able to return from coronavirus, while Marvin Bagley III is hoping to make up for a disappointing injury-riddled second season by finishing with a flurry. Each of their first five games appear winnable, so if point guard D’Aaron Fox hits the ground running to lead the way, elbowing its way into the playoffs is something Sacramento can manage. A strong start should allow the Kings to control their destiny late given the two games against New Orleans and potentially a Lakers team resting their stars.
SAN ANTONIO: 7/31 Kings, 8/2 Grizzlies, 8/3 76ers, 8/5 Nuggets, 8/7 Jazz, 8/9 Pelicans, 8/11 Rockets , 8/13 Jazz
Gregg Popovich’s streak of playoff appearances sits at 22 but likely won’t be extended to give the Spurs the NBA record. Since bookmakers have placed San Antonio in an underdog role for that opener against Sacramento, it’s likely that the Aldridge-less Spurs will be catching points all eight times they take the floor at Disney’s Wide World of Sports. If they fail to pull off upsets early, look for San Antonio to play its young guys heavy minutes, which probably won’t be DeMar DeRozan a happy camper.
UTAH: 7/30 Pelicans, 8/1 Thunder, 8/3 Lakers, 8/5 Grizzlies, 8/7 Spurs, 8/8 Nuggets, 8/10 Mavs, 8/13 Spurs
With Bojan Bogdanovic out and All-Stars Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert needing to mend fences, the Jazz are an easy team to fade in the loaded West. Joe Ingles is expected to play despite there being initial concern that he wouldn’t return to the U.S., and his contributions will be crucial with Bogdanovic absent due to season-ending wrist surgery. Utah’s showdown with Denver that may decide the Northwest Division champ falls on the second of a back-to-back. If the team likes its playoff position, it seems likely that most regulars would skip the finale against the Spurs given the time off entering that contest.
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