Reports indicate the 2020-21 NBA season could begin shortly before Christmas with modifications, meaning we’ll see the San Antonio Spurs again this year.
Believe it or not, we may not actually be too far from another NBA season. After the San Antonio Spurs failed to reach the 2020-21 NBA postseason, things fell back into a sense of regularity. LeBron James, the defacto pick to make the NBA Finals, won the title in this Orlando restart and in the subsequent weeks, trade and free agency rumours have taken a spotlight from national media.
It felt like we already had an offseason this year with the league’s suspension between March and the end of July, but the real postseason is in full swing. That means league officials and governors, including representatives of the San Antonio Spurs, are working to hammer home details for the rest of this season into the next one.
Today, it was reported by The Athletic’s Shams Charania that the 2020-21 NBA season is being targeted for a start in late December right before Christmas. This would mean that the offseason would be shortened, condensing the timeline for events that’s currently in place for teams, players and agents to prepare.
An interesting wrinkle is that a priority has been getting NBA players finished with their season in time for the 2020 Olympics, which were postponed to next year, 2021. Being that basketball is an international sport and the NBA is a league that prides itself on being global, getting players on that national stage in pursuit of a Gold Medal is great for growing the sport. This is a large part of why the league is suggesting a condensed schedule that puts them back on track for a normal offseason in 2021.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) October 23, 2020
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According to Charania, the league is looking at a 72-game season, cutting 10 off of the normal number of games played. As reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the league is looking at ways to condense the travel schedule that would include a style based on what baseball does with series. This way, a team traveling to New York might play both of its games against the Knicks and one game against the Nets in a limited amount of time.
For the Spurs, it would more likely mean playing their division games against Texas-based opponents in succession. Home court advantage is going to play a significant factor in the way this impacts players and teams, but if there aren’t fans in arenas, then it won’t matter much in the long run.
Lastly, the league is looking at bringing back the play-in tournament for the playoffs, which was a tremendous success in the Orlando bubble. This is meaningful for a borderline playoff team like the San Antonio Spurs, who may compete in a game like that to return to the postseason and face the Western Conference’s No. 1 seed.
We’ll keep you updated as details are confirmed, but the league is shaping up to handle another successful season in this pandemic-shaped landscape.