NBA commissioner Adam Silver held a conference call with players on Friday, addressing a wide range of topics regarding the possible completion of the 2019-20 season amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Though many issues were discussed, Silver stressed that no plans will be implemented any time soon, and that the leagueto make decisions as they weigh their options.
The single-site, or "bubble" plan of holding all remaining games in one city like Orlando or Las Vegas, seems to be most logical moving forward. However, as NBPA executive director Michele Roberts told ESPN, players haveabout being isolated from their families under strict quarantine for months at a time.
One reason the plan makes sense, however, is that it eliminates any sort of significant travel. This lowers the risk of spreading the virus, but it also creates a situation where more games can be played in a shorter amount of time. Many are wondering whether the playoffs would have to be truncated to three- or five-game series, but Silver said on the conference call that he still hopes the postseason, if and when it happens, will include a full, seven-game series in every round, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. Resuming the season in a single site certainly makes that more feasible.
Sources: Silver told players that he still hoped that the playoffs would include a 7-game series in every round. He told players that those series could move faster without the need for travel, staying in a single site. Orlando and Vegas still tops.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) May 8, 2020
The NBA has not decided whether the league will try to complete the regular season or move directly to the playoffs, but Silver acknowledged that skipping the regular season was a possibility if the hiatus continues further into the summer. At that point, teams like the Portland Trail Blazers, New Orleans Pelicans, Sacramento Kings and San Antonio Spurs would lose their chance to make a late push for the final Western Conference playoff seed, and Silver said there would be "a series of bad options" to determine how to proceed.
Even if it returns, this season will still undoubtedly carry an asterisk given the prolonged hiatus and changes that will occur upon continuing. However, a full postseason with seven-game series in each round would go a long way toward eliminating any sort of stigma that could accompany the eventual champion's accomplishments.