The National Basketball Association will play its abbreviated 72-game seasons in two halves, separated by a five-day All-Star Game break, the NBA announced Tuesday.
The first half will be played from Dec. 22 to March 4 with the second half scheduled for March 11 to May 16. It will then conduct a “play-in” tournament between the teams with the seventh, eighth, ninth, and 10th best records to determine the last two of eight playoff berths in each conference.
The playoffs will then be staged between May 22 and July 22. The Olympics are set to begin July 23.
The first half of the schedule is to be announced on or about Dec. 1, when training camps are to open, with the second half to be released until at some point during the first half.
“The second half schedule will include the remainder of each team’s 72 games not scheduled in the first half as well as any games postponed during the first half that can reasonably be added to the second half schedule,” the NBA said on its website.
Unlike last season, which was interrupted due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus and teams resumed and completed play in isolation without fans at the Disney Sports Complex outside Orlando, Florida, this season is to be played in home cities.
It was not clear if the Canadian government would exempt the Toronto Raptors from its quarantine requirements, or if the team would have to relocate to a U.S. city to play the season.
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