The positive is the Miami Heat no longer have to worry about the cancellation of the regular season.
The negative is their success may lead to eliminating any offseason vacation plans.
On Thursday, the NBA board of team governors voted to resume the season after play had been halted since March 11 because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“The Board’s approval of the restart format is a necessary step toward resuming the NBA season,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement. “While the COVID-19 pandemic presents formidable challenges, we are hopeful of finishing the season in a safe and responsible manner based on strict protocols now being finalized with public health officials and medical experts. We also recognize that as we prepare to resume play, our society is reeling from recent tragedies of racial violence and injustice, and we will continue to work closely with our teams and players to use our collective resources and influence to address these issues in very real and concrete ways.”
A 22-team field, consisting of 13 from the Western Conference and nine in the East, will play eight regular season games starting July 31 at Disney's Wide of World Sports in Orlando. The playoffs are likely to extend until at least October. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the training camp target date for the 2020-21 season is Nov. 10 and play would begin in early December.
While the Heat players are ready to get back on the court after such a long layoff, the quick turnaround could have an impact on every postseason team. Under normal circumstances, the league is idle for at least three months once a champion is crowned.
The Heat enter the season reboot as the No. 4 seed in the East, joined by the Milwaukee Bucks, Toronto Raptors, Boston Celtics, Indiana Pacers, Philadelphia 76ers, Brooklyn Nets and Washington Wizards. The West teams are the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Lakers, Denver Nuggets, Utah Jazz, Oklahoma City Thunder, Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks, Memphis Grizzlies, Portland Trail Blazers, New Orleans Pelicans, Sacramento Kings, San Antonio Spurs and Phoenix Suns.
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