NBA Completing a Limited Regular Season is a Favorable Situation for 76ers
If you haven't been feeling good about the state of the NBA lately, you can begin to cheer up. No, the league hasn't made the decision to return to action, but on Wednesday, there have been numerous reports, which offer up plenty of reasons to start being optimistic about a comeback NBA season this summer.
The decision should be here by early June. And many teams believe that on the first day of the new month, the league office will notify organizations to begin recalling out-of-market players, so they start ramping up training camp 2.0.
Great news! But what's next? Well, we've already realized that fans aren't going to be attending games anymore this year. Therefore, the NBA will look to utilize a bubble city concept, playing all games in one or two neutral locations.
Lately, it seems that Disney World in Orlando, Florida, is becoming the favorite to host all teams (Las Vegas and Houston are still in the mix, too). And what about the format of the schedule? At first, it seemed logical to skip straight to playoffs, so the teams with no chance of making the postseason didn't have to go through the trouble of going through another training camp just to play a few meaningless games during a pandemic.
But it seems the NBA might move towards completing a limited regular season. Seventy games are the reported target number, according to Sports Illustrated's own, Mike Fisher. Meaning if and when the 76ers return to action, they will have five games left on the schedule before heading into the postseason.
Why 70 games? Well, the NBA has contracts to honor. For Regional Sports Networks, the NBA is expected to deliver 70 games a season. Considering the amount of money the NBA will lose due to the pandemic, it makes sense to honor a contract when it's possible. Money concerns aside, though, completing a 70-game season should be desirable for teams. Since players haven't competed in over two months now, jumping right into the playoffs isn't exactly an ideal situation.
The final five games could offer up a preseason feel where players get back into game shape. And also, for the Sixers, they could improve their spot in the Eastern Conference playoff bracket. At the moment, Philly sits in the sixth-seed. They are tied with Indiana (the Pacers have the tie-breaker), and the Sixers are only a couple of games back from the fourth-seeded Miami Heat. Having an opportunity to get in shape and improve placement in the playoff bracket creates a favorable scenario for the 76ers.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter: @JGrasso_