NBA Return 2020: Standings & 22 Teams Returning for New Playoff Format

Jayson Tatum

Getty The Celtics are fighting to be one of the top seeds in the Eastern Conference.

The NBA is heading towards a July 31st return with 22 teams resuming play at Disney’s Wide World of Sports complex in Orlando. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the following teams will be resuming play in Orlando: New Orleans Pelicans, Portland Trail Blazers, Phoenix Suns, Sacramento Kings, San Antonio Spurs, Washington Wizards, Milwaukee Bucks, Toronto Raptors, Boston Celtics, Miami Heat, Indiana Pacers, Philadelphia 76ers, Brooklyn Nets, Orlando Magic, Los Angeles Lakers, LA Clippers, Denver Nuggets, Utah Jazz, Oklahoma City Thunder, Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks and Memphis Grizzlies.

Each team is expected to take part in eight regular-season games beginning on July 31. There could still be a play-in element to the postseason depending on the final standings.

If a team is fewer than four games back from the No. 8 seed, there will be a play-in tournament with those squads. The No. 8 seed can secure their postseason spot with no play-in tournament by holding a lead of more than four games.

“Play-in tournament in NBA’s 22-team format would only be for 8th seed, per sources:-If 9th seed is 4 or more games back, 8th seed earns spot – If 9th seed is 4 or fewer games behind, play-in: Single-elimination for 9th seed, double-elimination for 8th,” The Athletic’s Shams Charania tweeted.

There will be an NBA Board of Governors call on Thursday, June 3 to officially approve the 22-team plan. Wojnarowski also reported that the last possible day the NBA finals would end is October 12.


The NBA Seeding Games Will Resemble Summer League Format

Yahoo Sports’ Keith Smith reported that the regular season games are likely to resemble the NBA Summer League format with matchups tipping off in the afternoon. The NBA playoff schedule is expected to be similar to its traditional postseason format.

“Per a Disney source: For the regular season games (a total of 88) the plan for now is to play in two different arenas with multiple games per day. Think Summer League setup, but with actual games that count. Playoffs will be 2-4 games per day for early rounds. 1-2 games after. …Essentially, just like with Summer League, there will be basketball all day long when things restart with the regular season games. Then playoffs will look more like what we are used to, as they always play 4 games a day on Saturday and Sunday in the first round,” Smith explained on Twitter.

Here is a look at the current NBA standings.


NBA Eastern Conference Standings

Teams in bold would make the playoffs if the postseason started today.

TEAM W L GB
1.Bucks 53 12
2.Raptors 46 18 6.5
3.Celtics 43 21 9.5
4.Heat 41 24 12
5.Pacers 39 26 14
6.76ers 39 26 14
7.Nets 30 34 22.5
8.Magic 30 35 23
9.Wizards 24 40 28.5

Western Conference Standings

Teams in bold would make the playoffs if the postseason started today. Teams in italics would take part in the proposed play-in tournament.

TEAM W L GB
1.Lakers 49 14
2.Clippers 44 20 5.5
3.Nuggets 43 22 7
4.Jazz 41 23 8.5
5.Thunder 40 24 9.5
6.Rockets 40 24 9.5
7.Mavericks 40 27 11
8.Grizzlies 32 33 18
9.Blazers 29 37 21.5
10.Pelicans 28 36 21.5
11.Kings 28 36 21.5
12.Spurs 27 36 22
13.Suns 26 39 24

NBA Playoff Matchups 2020:

Here is a look at what the postseason matchups would look like if the playoffs started today. Under the proposed new format, the Western Conference would hold a play-in tournament for the No. 8 seed.

Eastern Conference
No. 1 Milwaukee Bucks vs. No. 8 Orlando Magic
No. 4 Miami Heat vs. No. 5 Indiana Pacers
No. 2 Toronto Raptors vs. No. 7 Brooklyn Nets
No. 3 Boston Celtics vs. No. 6 Philadelphia Sixers

Western Conference
No. 1 L.A. Lakers vs. No. 8 Grizzlies, Blazers, Pelicans, Kings or Spurs
No. 4 Utah Jazz vs. No. 5 Oklahoma City Thunder
No. 2 L.A. Clippers vs. No. 7 Dallas Mavericks
No. 3 Denver Nuggets vs. No. 6 Houston Rockets


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