The top eight teams from each conference are joined by those now within six games of the No. 8 seed in each conference. 8 and 9 seeds in each conference - but only if the ninth seed is within four games of the playoff spot.
As mentioned all games will take part within a tight bubble within Walt Disney World at the Wide World of Sports Complex.
Under the NBA's proposals, all 22 teams will be based at the resort and games will be played without spectators to minimise the threat of Covid-19.
After weeks of wondering when and how live sports might resume, the NBA Board of Governors has voted today to approve a novel plan that could see games resuming as soon as late-July.
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Another person, also speaking to AP on condition of anonymity because the details of the ongoing talks have not been publicly released, said the National Basketball Players Association and the NBA are continuing to work on a "lengthy" medical protocols document.
It is expected to vote during a conference call on Friday. The East features Milwaukee, Toronto, Boston, Miami, Indiana, Philadelphia, Brooklyn and Orlando, with Washington as the final team hoping to rise into postseason position. Prior to the announcement being made about the league's return Thursday afternoon, the Bulls, 76ers, Nets, Hornets, Thunder and Clippers had either opened their facilities or were holding voluntary workouts. The eighth seed needs to beat the ninth seed just one time to get in, but the ninth seed will have to beat the eighth two times in a row to get in. The NBA is planning its draft for October 15, three days after the latest date of the Finals, after holding its draft lottery on August 25.
Why now: Several return-to-play formats have been floated, with an emphasis on fair competition and safety.
The season will conclude with eight seeding games for each of the 22 teams in play as selected from its remaining regular-season matchups.
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"The Board's approval of the restart format is a necessary step toward resuming the NBA season", said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver.
The additional six teams beyond the playoff qualifiers based on the March 11 standings are the Trail Blazers, Pelicans, Kings, Spurs, Suns and Wizards. Collectively, our players want to compete at the highest level and we will unquestionably use this as added motivation as we continue working towards a sustainable culture of winning.
The league has set a tentative target date of December 1 for opening night for 2020-21. Lottery teams would be comprised of the eight clubs that do not participate in the restart and the six that go to Florida but do not qualify for the playoffs.
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