Qualifying play-offs for the maintained and expanded playoffs, absence of All-Star Game, champion crowned on July 22 at the latest: the NBA has unveiled the way in which its next season will be structured, which is due to begin on December 22.
The big news concerns the “play-in tournament”. This qualifying barrage phase for the playoffs, experienced in the Disney World bubble this summer with three clubs, this time will concern four. In this case those who finished between 7th and 10th place in each conference, East and West, at the end of the regular season. And this, whatever the difference of victories between them.
These dams are a test, the NBA having specified that they will only be in effect for the coming year. But they could increase the interest of his regular end of seasons often devoid of stake and be called to continue.
72 regular season games
Before it gets to this stage, each of the 30 teams (15 per conference) will have 72 regular season games to play. A new calendar formula has been found to minimize the number of trips during coronavirus weather.
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Operation of dams
The 7th will play at home against the 8th. The winner of this match will qualify, earning the No. 7 seed status. The 9th will play at home against the 10th. The loser will be eliminated. The winner will then meet the loser of the jump-off having opposed the 7th to the 8th. The winner of this meeting will validate his ticket for the playoffs, with the status of seed no.8.
New calendar formula
Each team will play the teams of its conference three times (two home matches and one away or one home match and two away), i.e. 42 matches (14×3). Each team will also play the teams from the other conference twice (one home game, the other away), for a total of 30 matches (15×2). This brings the total number of matches to be played to 72 (42 + 30).