mcloudy.png
Friday June 18th, 2021 3:00PM

Back to normal? NBA plans to start '21-22 season in October

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

MIAMI (AP) — The NBA told its teams Thursday that it intends to return to a normal schedule next season, with training camps opening in late September and the regular season set to begin on Oct. 19.

A memo that was sent to teams, a copy of which was obtained by The Associated Press, does not specify when the 2021-22 regular season will end — and that’s because it has yet to be officially decided if the play-in tournament will return. If it does, and there are no indications that it won’t, the likely date to end the regular season would be April 10.

The return to the normal schedule is not an unexpected development, and Commissioner Adam Silver has said several times that the league's intention for the past several months — virus-permitting — was to get the league back onto its regular calendar after two seasons of schedule havoc because of the pandemic.

But it will lead to another quick turnaround for the teams that make this summer's NBA Finals.

The latest possible date for Game 7 of this season's title series is July 22; training camps for next season are set to begin on Sept. 28, meaning it is possible that this season's finalists are back in camp as little as 68 days following the end of the 2021 finals.

Last season's finalists, the champion Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat, had 51 days between the end of the 2020 finals and the start of this season's training camp — with this season's game schedule beginning 72 days after the Lakers won the title at the restart bubble at Walt Disney World.

And the Lakers and the Heat both were eliminated in the first round of this year's playoffs; only two of last season's final eight teams returned to the second round of the postseason in 2021. Questions about fatigued teams were a talking point around the league throughout this season, and likely will be again next season — especially for those clubs that go deepest in this year's playoffs.

“From the moment we entered the bubble to now today, it’s been draining,” Lakers forward LeBron James said after his team was eliminated. “Mentally, physically, spiritually, emotionally draining. ... Every team has to deal with it, obviously. But with us and Miami obviously going the long haul in the bubble and then coming right back on short notice to this season, it’s been very draining.”

Should the play-in tournament — during which the teams that finish between seventh and 10th in each conference play to decide which teams will be the No. 7 and No. 8 seeds on the Eastern and Western sides of the bracket — return on the same schedule the NBA utilized this season, those games would be contested between April 12-15, 2022.

The playoffs will begin on April 16, the 2022 NBA Finals are set to begin on June 2 and the planned end date for Game 7 of that title series would be June 19.

The 2022 NBA draft will be June 23, teams were told in the memo.

Teams will play rivals in their own divisions four times and the 15 teams from the other conferences twice each, as per usual. Teams also play some teams in their conference just three times instead of four, and those games are slotted in a five-year rotation; the league is planning to use what would have been the 2020-21 matrix to determine those matchups.

That matrix wasn't in play this season since it was 72 games, with teams playing the 14 others from their own conference three times and the 15 opponents from the other conference twice.

It also remains unclear if things will be truly back to normal. There has been no final decision made on whether the Toronto Raptors — the NBA's lone Canadian team — will be able to start next season at home again. The Raptors were displaced for the entirety of this season, playing their 36 home games in Tampa, Florida.

If the Raptors can play at home, they would likely play in Toronto on Nov. 1. That's the 75th anniversary of the Basketball Association of America's first game — the New York Knicks at the Toronto Huskies. The BAA was the precursor to what has been called the NBA since 1949.

The league has been planning since at least 2018 to celebrate its 75th anniversary season in 2021-22, and plans remain in place for next season's All-Star Game to be in Cleveland. It has been scheduled for Feb. 20.

___

More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Basketball, AP Sports - NBA
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
College Football Playoff considering expansion to 12 teams
The College Football Playoff is considering an expansion from four to 12 teams
4:15PM ( 14 minutes ago )
Hertz on track to exit bankruptcy protection this month
A bankruptcy court has confirmed Hertz’s reorganization plan, which helps clear the way for the car rental company to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection by the end of the month
4:12PM ( 17 minutes ago )
Senators eye $579B in new infrastructure spending, $1T plan
A bipartisan group of senators is eyeing an infrastructure deal with $579 billion in new spending as of a $1 trillion package
4:11PM ( 18 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Unseeded Krejcikova, Pavlyuchenkova reach French Open final
Unseeded Barbora Krejcikova of the Czech Republic has overcome a match point and an apparent blown call to reach her first Grand Slam final
3:23PM ( 1 hour ago )
Chiefs lose OL Kyle Long to knee injury in voluntary workout
The offensive line that the Kansas City Chiefs aggressively overhauled this offseason has taken a hit
3:17PM ( 1 hour ago )
McDavid, Matthews, MacKinnon finalists for NHL MVP honors
Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid, Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews and Colorado Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon have been named finalists for the Hart Trophy as NHL MVP
3:12PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Sports
USA Basketball sets plan for Olympic camps in Las Vegas
The last stop for USA Basketball before the Tokyo Olympics will be Las Vegas
8:06AM ( 8 hours ago )
Lawyers: Avenatti shamed, merits leniency for Nike extortion
Lawyers for Michael Avenatti say he should spend no more than six months behind bars after a jury concluded he tried to extort $25 million from Nike
6:01AM ( 10 hours ago )
Chris Paul has another big night, Suns rout Nuggets 123-98
Chris Paul had 17 points and 15 assists without a turnover, Devin Booker added 18 points and 10 rebounds and the Phoenix Suns routed the Denver Nuggets 123-98 on Wednesday night to take a 2-0 lead in the Western Conference semifinals
2:23AM ( 14 hours ago )
AP Online Basketball
Shake Milton saves Sixers as Philly evens series with Hawks
Joel Embiid had 40 points and 13 rebounds and Shake Milton buried a 32-footer and scored 14 points in an electrifying stretch off the bench to lead the Philadelphia 76ers past the Atlanta Hawks 118-102
11:30PM ( 1 day ago )
Nikola Jokic becomes lowest draft pick ever to win MVP award
Nikola Jokic was revealed Tuesday as the NBA’s Most Valuable Player for 2020-21, making him by far the lowest draft pick ever to win the award
7:57PM ( 1 day ago )
Boosted by big crowds, Suns try to win again vs Nuggets
Phoenix Suns fans are enjoying the franchise's return to the playoffs for the first time in 11 years
5:00PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Sports - NBA
College Football Playoff considering expansion to 12 teams
The College Football Playoff is considering an expansion from four to 12 teams
4:15PM ( 14 minutes ago )
Hertz on track to exit bankruptcy protection this month
A bankruptcy court has confirmed Hertz’s reorganization plan, which helps clear the way for the car rental company to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection by the end of the month
4:12PM ( 17 minutes ago )
Senators eye $579B in new infrastructure spending, $1T plan
A bipartisan group of senators is eyeing an infrastructure deal with $579 billion in new spending as of a $1 trillion package
4:11PM ( 18 minutes ago )
Underground mine vehicle accident in Montana kills 2
Two workers for the only palladium and platinum mining operation in the U.S. have died in an underground accident at a Montana mine
4:08PM ( 22 minutes ago )