Life Inside the Bubble
The 22 teams reporting back for NBA duty will do so in the bubble of Orlando, Florida. The NBA has decided to help ease players back by letting them play their first exhibition games using 10-minute quarters.
It seems like a good plan as the players haven’t seen regular action on the basketball court in four months. The players of the 22 teams that head to Florida will have to commit to living inside the ‘bubble’ created by the NBA for the remainder of the season.
Stepping Things Up
Once the first round of exhibition games are out of the way, the remaining ‘friendly’ fixtures will be played with the regular 12-minute quarters. The exhibition schedule will be played until June 28, with the regular season resuming on July 30. The remaining 22 teams will each play eight games to close out the regular NBA season, and the playoffs will resume as normal in the postseason.
The only difference will be that the ninth seeds will be given the opportunity to reach the playoffs if they are just four games back from the eighth seed. Teams that qualify for the ‘playoff playoff’ as the ninth seed will have to win two games against the eighth seed, while the higher-ranking team will only need to win once.
The 10-minute quarters may help the NBA stars start their engines at a slower pace rather than going at 100mph right out of the blocks. We’ll only know for sure when the teams take to the court in the coming weeks if the strategy was a smart one or not.