At long last, it is NBA restart-eve and we have two exciting games that will kick-off the much anticipated NBA restart. The first game will feature the Utah Jazz vs New Orleans Pelicans at 6:30pm and the 9:00pm game will match-up the Los Angeles Clippers vs Los Angeles Lakers, both of the games will be airing on TNT.
The Pelicans are a lighting rod because of Zion Williamson and the buzz surrounding his rookie year. Zion briefly left the bubble to tend to a family matter but he has served the recommended protocol and it is rumored that he will play in the re-launch. The Pelicans are one of the teams on the edge of qualifying for the post-season so they will have a playoff mentality immediately and will be focused on unleashing their high-profile offense to a national television audience. Alvin Gentry, the Pelicans Head Coach has said they will evaluate Williamson throughout the day on Wednesday following a full-team practice and will announce his status early Thursday morning. The western conference has six teams that are locked into playoff spots, the Lakers, Clippers, Nuggets, Jazz, Thunder and Rockets. There are seven teams competing for the final two western conference spots, the Mavericks currently hold the 7-seed and the Grizzlies hold the 8-seed. The Blazers are 2.5 games behind the Grizzlies, the Pelicans are 3.5, Kings are 3.5, the Spurs are 4 and the Suns are 6 games back. The seeding games for the Western Conference will take place from July 30th – August 14th, the play-in tournament will be played on the 15th-16th and the playoffs will begin on the 17th of August with families and guests scheduled to arrive on August 30th a day before the Conference semifinals are set to begin.
The Eastern Conference only has nine teams inside the bubble, six teams are locked into playoff spots, the Bucks, Raptors, Celtics, Heat, Pacers and 76ers. The Nets are holding onto the 7-seed and the Magic are in the 8-seed. The Wizards are currently in 9th place and they trail the Nets by 6 games and the Magic by 5.5 games. The seeding games for the Eastern Conference will take place from July 30th – August 14th, the play-in tournament will be played on the 15th-16th and the playoffs will begin on the 17th of August with families and guests scheduled to arrive on August 30th a day before the Conference semifinals are set to begin.
- July 9–11: Training camp
- July 22–28: Scrimmages
- July 30–Aug. 14: Seeding games (remainder of regular season)
- Aug. 15–16: Play-in tournaments
- Aug. 17: Playoffs begin
- Aug. 30: Family/guests of teams arrive
- Aug. 31–Sept. 13: Conference semifinals
- Sept. 15–Sept. 28: Conference finals
- Sept. 30–Oct. 13: NBA Finals
We mentioned Zion but the teams that everyone is excited to see in the Western Conference are the teams squaring off in the 9:00pm game, they both reside in Los Angeles, the Clippers and the Lakers. They are loaded with star power, the Lakers have LeBron and Anthony Davis and the Clippers have Paul George and Kawhi Leonard, Leonard was last seasons NBA Finals MVP with the Toronto Raptors. I have never been a fan of Lebron, I think his personality is insufferable off the court and the think the debates between him and MJ are laughable, it’s not even a conversation. With saying that, he is still one of the five- ten greatest players in NBA history and this long rest is going to do him wonders. I think he is going to come out fresh and dominant, he is still the best player in the league right now, Giannis is right behind him but for now, LeBron is still king of the mountain and he is going to put on a show during this restart. Mulraney and I discussed this on Episode 28 of the Corner Booth and we both feel like the Western Conference is going to come down between the two teams from Los Angeles.
This is going to be so much fun to see the NBA back. All the top health advisors have said the bubble formula works and there have been no signs of COVID breaking out inside this bubble, lets keep our fingers crossed. Happy to see the NBA return.