To say that the 2019/20 NBA season was wild could be an understatement. It had it all; a controversy with China, Kobe Bryant and David Stern passing away, a pandemic, and even a bubble in Disney's campus.
Hopefully, this upcoming 2020/21 season will be far less complicated and all the action and headlines will focus solely on basketball. Then again, given the complicated times we're living in, we can't be completely sure of that.
So, why is this upcoming campaign going to be unique? How will the league make sure to finish the season on time to readjust their schedule? We'll answer those and other questions in the following paragraphs.
How Many Games Will They Play In The 2020/21 NBA Season?
First and foremost, let's go back a couple of months. The NBA season was in a halt for nearly 4 months after a Covid-19 outbreak, thus pushing the NBA Finals all the way to October and forcing their hand to start the 2020/21 season with the shortest offseason ever.
That means that the league will have to cut the regular season short a couple of games in order to go back to normal next season and allow the players to prepare and rest ahead of the Tokyo Olympics.
That's why this year, they will only play 72 regular-season games rather than the usual 82. Nonetheless, several teams could engage in a play-in tournament for the 8th and final ticket to the playoffs.
Teams ranked 7th to 10th will take part in the play-in tournament. The 7th and 8th seed will play a game for the 7th seed. The 9th and 10th seed will play for the right to play vs. the loser of the other game to try and get the final seed in each conference.
So, assuming a team has to go through a play-in tournament as the 9th or 10th seed, it'll have to play an extra 2 games to make the playoffs. Then, if he were to play four seven-game series to win the NBA Championship, the said team would have to play a maximum of 102 games throughout the campaign (72 in the regular season, 2 in the play-in, and 28 in the playoffs).