SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF/AP) — The NBA Board of Governors was preparing to vote on a plan to restart league play, but it would not involve the Golden State Warriors who tumbled from perennial title contenders to cellar-dwellers this season.
There will be vote on the plan Thursday. The plan must also be approved by the NBA Players Association before 22 teams begin play at the ESPN Wide World Of Sports complex in Orlando.
According to the person who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity, the plan includes eight games to determine playoff seeding before the postseason would begin.
The plan, if approved, would have 13 Western Conference teams and nine Eastern Conference teams going to Disney and the cutoff being that teams must be within six games of a playoff spot at this point. Playoffs would start in August, and the NBA Finals will likely stretch into October, the person said.
The Milwaukee Bucks, Los Angeles Lakers, Toronto Raptors and Boston Celtics already have clinched playoff spots — and, if only eight games are left, that would mean the Miami Heat, Indiana Pacers, Philadelphia 76ers, Los Angeles Clippers, Denver Nuggets, Utah Jazz, Oklahoma City Thunder and Houston Rockets would theoretically have clinched spots as well.
The Dallas Mavericks would be virtually assured of clinching a West spot, holding a seven-game lead over eighth-place Memphis. So that would mean the Grizzlies, Portland, New Orleans, Sacramento, San Antonio and Phoenix all would be in the running for the No. 8 seed out West.
Not included are the Warriors who tumbled out of title contention this season after five straight years of playing in the NBA Finals. Injuries sidelined All-Star guard Klay Thompson for the entire season while two-time NBA MVP Steph Curry missed all but a handful of games. Draymond Green also saw his play limited by injuries.
Playoff mainstays Kevin Durant, Andre Igudoala and Shaun Livingston also left the team after last season. Durant signed as a free agent with Brooklyn, Igudoala went to Memphis and was later traded to Miami and Livingston retired.
A handful of players had been working at the team’s practice facility at San Francisco Chase Center since Monday when local COVID-19 restrictions were eased.
The Warriors season had come to an abrupt end on March 11 when the league suspended play after Utah center Rudy Golbert tested positive for COVID-19.