New York, June 26 (IANS) The 2019/20 season of the NBA will restart on July 30, the American basketball league said in a statement on Friday. The NBA said that it arrived at the decison in consultation with the National Basketball Players' Association and the matches will be played at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.
"The NBA and Disney have reached an agreement that makes the Arena, the Field House and Visa Athletic Center at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex the venues for all games for the remainder of the season, which will resume with 22 teams returning to play and with no fans in attendance," the statement read.
"The NBA and the NBPA confirmed today an agreement on health and safety protocols that will govern the resumption of the season. The rigorous program, which addresses risks related to COVID-19 and focuses on the well-being of players, coaches, officials and staff, was developed in consultation with public health experts, infectious disease specialists and government officials."
Commissioner Adam Silver said that the NBA and NPBA have worked together to "establish a restart plan that prioritizes health and safety, preserves competitive fairness and provides a platform to address social justice issues."
"We are grateful to our longtime collaborator Disney for its role in playing host and making this return to play possible, and we also thank the public health officials and infectious disease specialists who helped guide the creation of comprehensive medical protocols and protections," said Silver.
Under the competitive format for the restart, the 22 participating teams will be the eight teams in each conference with the highest current winning percentages and the six teams that are currently within six games of the eighth seed in either conference.
The NBA's standard playoff tiebreaker procedures will be used to break any ties on the basis of winning percentage. Once the 16-team playoff field is set, the NBA Playoffs will proceed in a traditional conference-based format with four rounds and best-of-seven series in each round. The 2020 NBA Finals will end no later than Oct. 13.