The NBA has announced details on the revamped schedule for the 2020/21 season, including a confirmation that there will be a play-in tournament between the No. 7-10 seeds in both conferences for the first time (Twitter link).
The league has noted that it will release the dates for its individual game schedule in two portions. The NBA did release its plan for the schedule in a matrix grid, per Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic (Twitter link), though it will not announce the specific dates of its matchups until “around the start of training camp.” The second half of 2020/21 is set to be announced during the season’s first half.
Still, we now know several of the nuances for the NBA’s 75th season. For the 72 regular season games in this truncated season, teams will play three games against all teams within their own conference, and two against teams in the other conference.
Here are the set dates for the NBA season as they stand presently:
- December 11-19, 2020: Preseason
- December 22, 2020 – March 4, 2021: The first half of the NBA’s regular season
- March 5-10, 2021: The NBA All-Star break
- March 11 – May 16, 2021: The second half of the regular season
- May 18-21, 2021: Play-In Tournament
- May 22 – July 22, 2021: NBA Playoffs
The league went on to note that the second half of the season, set to commence after the All-Star break concludes on March 11, 2021, will not only include the scheduled games, but also “any games postponed [due to COVID-19 issues] during the first half that can reasonably be added to the second half schedule.”
As for the play-in tournament, it’ll pit the seventh- and eighth-best teams in each conference against one another, with the winner earning the No. 7 seed. The loser of that game will face the winner of a matchup between the ninth- and 10th-best teams. The winner of that contest will become the No. 8 seed.