Following months of anticipation, the NBA is reportedly on pace to finish the 2019-20 season with a 22-team format in Orlando beginning July 31. 🔥
Insider Shams Charania broke the news on Wednesday morning, noting that the plan was "based on feedback, collaborative discussions and input from constitutes around the league."
According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the 22 teams will play eight regular-season games to determine playoff seeding at ESPN's Wide World of Sports Complex at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando.
Joining the top eight teams from both the Eastern and Western Conference will be six additional teams – New Orleans, Portland, San Antonio, Sacramento, Phoenix and Washington – all within six games of eighth place in their respective conference.
This criterion is why Washington will be the only extra team from the East, barely making the cut at five and a half games behind Orlando. You already know they had to sneak New Orleans' Zion Williamson into the action somehow, too.
There will also be a potential play-in tournament following the amended regular season between No. 8 and No. 9 teams if the ninth seed finishes within four games of the eighth.
Then, the No. 8 seed would enter a double-elimination tournament, and the No. 9 seed a single-elimination tournament. In other words, the eighth seed would have to lose twice, while the ninth seed would only have to lose once.
Led by commissioner Adam Silver, the NBA's Board of Governors is holding a meeting and vote at 12:30 p.m. ET on Thursday, where the proposal is expected to be approved.
Once that happens, "We're playing bas-ket-ball!" It's been reported that teams will likely start training at their respective team sites in July before moving operations to Florida later that month.
To minimize the risk of coronavirus spread, players will have to adhere to testing and social distancing guidelines. Yet, they'll also be allowed to take advantage of certain amenities that the Sunshine State has to offer, like outdoor dining and golfing.
NBA fans on Twitter were ecstatic to hear about their favorite sport returning to action, not to mention the welcome relief of some positive news in these tough times.