The playoff scenarios NBA is discussing for hopeful return
Though news of the coronavirus pandemic has been discouraging, NBA executives still cling to hope of arranging a one-site, fan-less, 16-team playoff and a five-to-seven-game regular-season prelude, according to multiple NBA sources.
“They’re very determined to have a champion,” one industry source said.
The playoffs could be reduced to a slew of best-of-three series across the board. A single-elimination format has been all but ruled out — only under consideration as a last resort.
“Nothing is off the table,” another league official said.
The obvious destination for a one-site event is UNLV in Las Vegas, which has hosted recent summer leagues with all 30 clubs. Hotels are plentiful. One destination reportedly discussed was the Bahamas. According to an NBA source, there’s also been internal talks about Orlando, Atlantic City, Hawaii and Louisville hosting the playoffs.
The notion of having teams finish up all of their regular-season schedule is barely an option at this stage. The Knicks (21-45) had 16 games remaining.
According to one source, getting some teams to a magical number of 70 regular-season games had been a goal, but in the last week has taken on less of a priority.
Regional networks have contracts that call for a minimum of 70 games for its local teams. The 70-game contractual marker is in place to make sure marquee franchises aren’t regulars on exclusive national TV games.
NBA teams have played between 64 and 67 games, but some have been nationally televised. The Knicks have had 64 of their 66 games on MSG Network.
The best-case scenario is looking like a late June/early July start-up with the idea of the 2020-21 season not commencing until Christmas.
The June 25 NBA Draft would also have to be postponed if the season goes on until late August/September.
To date, the Knicks have lost out on eight games, and they were scheduled to play Wednesday in Memphis.
The NBA has still not ruled out cancelling the season altogether. ABC/ESPN broadcaster Jeff Van Gundy told The Post last week his gut tells him the season ultimately will be scrapped.
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