Raptors still in the hunt for back-to-back championships

 

It's been a long three months for basketball fans, who haven't witnessed a live game since the NBA suspended the season on March 11.

However, it appears the return of basketball is on the horizon.

According to a report from Adrian Wojnarowski, the NBA has announced it will resume games starting July 31 and will go until October 12.

All games will be played in Orlando, and the NBA has invited 22 teams to participate.

Thirteen of these teams will be from the Western Conference, including the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles 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.

The remaining nine teams will be from the Eastern Conference, and include the Milwaukee Bucks, Toronto Raptors, Boston Celtics, Miami Heat, Indiana Pacers, Philadelphia 76ers, Brooklyn Nets, Orlando Magic, and Washington Wizards.

The decision regarding how many teams from each Conference would participate came down to the current standings--only teams within six games of the eighth seed were invited according to Wojnarowski.

All of the 22 teams will play eight regular-season games to determine playoff seeding, and there will be the potential for a play-in tournament for the final playoff seed, which will depend on the gap between the teams in eighth, ninth, and 10th place.

All the games will be held without spectators in attendance, and they will be played at ESPN's Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort.

Teams will be housed in Disney's nearby hotels, and players and coaches will be permitted to take advantage of the amenities--including playing golf and eating at the outdoor restaurants at the Resort. However, they will be required to maintain physical distancing.

Cover photo courtesy of the Toronto Raptors' Instagram

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