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With Adam Silver's 22-Team Plan Approved, The NBA Is Officially Back

With Adam Silver's 22-team return plan approved by the NBA's Board of Governors, the NBA is officially set for a return, with July 31st still the target date.

DALLAS - The NBA is now officially on the fast track to a return, as per multiple reports, Commissioner Adam Silver's 22-team plan has been approved by the league's Board of Governors, in a 29-1 landslide vote. 

“The Board’s approval of the restart format is a necessary step toward resuming the NBA season,” said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. “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.”

The Portland Trailblazers were reportedly the only team that voted against the Commissioner's plan. 

The resumed season will begin with eight “seeding games” for each club and include the possibility of a play-in tournament for the eighth playoff spot in each conference. When the 16-team field is decided, the Playoffs will be played as normal, with seven-game series all the way through.

The 22 teams participating in Orlando are the Milwaukee Bucks, Toronto Raptors, Boston Celtics, Miami Heat, Indiana Pacers, Philadelphia 76ers, Brooklyn Nets, Orlando Magic and Washington Wizards from the Eastern Conference and the Los Angeles Lakers, LA Clippers, 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 from the Western Conference. 

Each of the 22 teams will compete in eight games selected from its remaining regular-season schedule. Following those games, the seven teams in each conference with the best-combined records will qualify for the playoffs.

If the team with the eighth-best record in its conference is more than four games ahead of the team with the ninth-best record in their respective conference, then that team will earn the eighth spot in their conference's playoff bracket.

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Play will begin on July 31st, with training camps set for June 30th, and travel to Orlando scheduled for July 7th. The Draft Lottery is also set for August 25th, while the NBA Draft is scheduled on October 15th, and the free agency period set to begin on October 18th. The NBA Finals would end no later than Oct. 12th. 

You can find the full list of dates set by the league here.

Under Silver's plan, 13 teams from the Western Conference and nine teams from the Eastern Conference would participate in the renewed season, with each team will playing eight regular-season games. Each team will also play eight regular-season games before the start of the postseason. 

The team's vying for the eighth seed in the west will be the Memphis Grizzlies, Sacramento Kings, Portland Trailblazers, Phoenix Suns, San Antonio Spurs, and New Orleans Pelicans. While in the East, due to the larger disparity in the standings, only the Brookly Nets (who hold the seventh seed), Orlando Magic, and the Washington Wizards will compete for the eighth spot.

The Dallas Mavericks will be guaranteed a playoff spot, as they are essentially a lock for the seventh seed, sitting seven games ahead of the Memphis Grizzlies for the eighth seed, and just 2.5 games behind the Utah Jazz for the fourth seed in the West.

“We are excited to take another positive step toward the restart of the 2019-20 season," the Mavs said in a statement. "The NBA is taking all the appropriate measures, and working tirelessly to provide a safe environment for our team and staff. While there are more decisions to make, the Dallas Mavericks are hopeful to have basketball back soon.”

Mavs owner Mark Cuban, who visited with Frank Isola on SiriusXM recently, says the Mavs players are chomping at the bit to get back out onto the court, and now that they are fully healthy, they are as confident as ever. 

"Everbody is just frothing," said Cuban in an interview with Frank Isola on SiriusXM. "Everybody can't wait to get back. You know, these guys are athletes. they're professional basketball players. This is what they love to do and they want to play. And so, you know, everybody is really, really looking forward to figuring this out."