Disney World set to host rest of NBA season


LeBron James takes a shot
LeBron James’ LA Lakers are top of the NBA Western Conference

The rest of the NBA season is set to be played at Florida’s Disney World Resort from 31 July.

The season was suspended on 11 March because of coronavirus measures.

Thirteen Western Conference teams and nine Eastern Conference teams will contest eight games each to determine seedings for the play-offs.

The ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando includes a 5,000-seat indoor basketball facility.

Under the NBA’s proposals, all 22 teams will be based at the resort and games will be played without spectators to minimise the threat of Covid-19.

On Thursday the NBA board of governors approved the plan to resume the season.

The National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) must agree to the plan before it is confirmed. It is expected to vote during a conference call on Friday.

How will the format work?

The Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, Denver Nuggets, Utah Jazz, Oklahoma City Thunder, Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks and Memphis Grizzlies are in play-off positions in the Western Conference.

The Milwaukee Bucks, Toronto Raptors, Boston Celtics, Miami Heat, Indiana Pacers, Philadelphia 76ers, Brooklyn Nets and Orlando Magic currently occupy play-off spots in the Eastern Conference.

Those 16 teams will be joined by the New Orleans Pelicans, Portland Trail Blazers, Phoenix Suns, Sacramento Kings and San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference and the Washington Wizards in the Eastern Conference.

The latest date possible for finishing the season – what would be game seven of the NBA finals – is 12 October.

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