NBA Announces Revised 2019-20 Season Schedule for Return After COVID-19 Hiatus

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJune 26, 2020

PORTLAND, OREGON - MARCH 04: A general view of NBA basketballs before the game between the Portland Trail Blazers and the Washington Wizards at the Moda Center on March 04, 2020 in Portland, Oregon. (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)
Alika Jenner/Getty Images

As the NBA prepares for its return on July 30, it has released its schedule for the remainder of the 2019-20 regular season.

The league will return with eight seeding games per team, beginning with a doubleheader. First, the Utah Jazz will take on the New Orleans Pelicans, and then the Los Angeles Clippers will face the Los Angeles Lakers. The regular season will end Aug. 14.

                              

2020 NBA National TV Schedule (All Start Times ET)

July 30: Utah Jazz vs. New Orleans Pelicans, 6:30 p.m. (TNT); Los Angeles Clippers vs. Los Angeles Lakers, 9 p.m. (TNT)

July 31: Boston Celtics vs. Milwaukee Bucks, 6:30 p.m. (ESPN); Houston Rockets vs. Dallas Mavericks, 9 p.m. ET (ESPN)

Aug. 1: Miami Heat vs. Denver Nuggets, 1 p.m. (ESPN); Utah Jazz vs. Oklahoma City Thunder, 3:30 p.m.(ESPN); New Orleans Pelicans vs. Los Angeles Clippers, 6 p.m. (ESPN); Los Angeles Lakers vs. Toronto Raptors, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)

Aug. 2: Portland Trail Blazers vs. Boston Celtics, 3:30 p.m. (ABC); Milwaukee Bucks vs. Houston Rockets, 8 p.m. (ABC)

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Aug. 3: Memphis Grizzlies vs. New Orleans Pelicans, 6:30 p.m. (ESPN); Los Angeles Lakers vs. Utah Jazz, 9 p.m. (ESPN)

Aug. 4: Boston Celtics vs. Miami Heat, 6:30 p.m. (TNT); Houston Rockets vs. Portland Trail Blazers, 9 p.m. (TNT)

Aug. 5: Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Los Angeles Lakers, 6:30 p.m. (ESPN); Brooklyn Nets vs. Boston Celtics, 9 p.m. (ESPN)

Aug. 6: Miami Heat vs. Milwaukee Bucks, 4 p.m. (TNT); Los Angeles Clippers vs. Dallas Mavericks, 6:30 p.m. (TNT); Los Angeles Lakers vs. Houston Rockets, 9 p.m. (TNT)

Aug. 7: Orlando Magic vs. Philadelphia 76ers, 6:30 p.m. (TNT); Boston Celtics vs. Toronto Raptors, 9 p.m. (TNT)

Aug. 8: Los Angeles Clippers vs. Portland Trail Blazers, 1 p.m. (TNT); Utah Jazz vs. Denver Nuggets, 3:30 p.m. (TNT); Los Angeles Lakers vs. Indiana Pacers, 6 p.m. (TNT); Milwaukee Bucks vs. Dallas Mavericks, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)

Aug. 9: San Antonio Spurs vs. New Orleans Pelicans, 3 p.m. (ABC)

Aug. 10: Toronto Raptors vs. Milwaukee Bucks, 6:30 p.m. (ESPN); Denver Nuggets vs. Los Angeles Lakers, 9 p.m. (TNT)

Aug. 11: Boston Celtics vs. Memphis Grizzlies, 6:30 p.m. (TNT); New Orleans Pelicans vs. Sacramento Kings, 9 p.m. (TNT)

Aug. 12: Toronto Raptors vs. Philadelphia 76ers, 6:30 p.m. (ESPN); Los Angeles Clippers vs. Denver Nuggets, 9 p.m. (ESPN)

Aug. 13: TBD vs. TBD, 4 p.m. (TNT); TBD vs. TBD, 6:30 p.m. (TNT); TBD vs. TBD, 9 p.m. (TNT)

Aug. 14: TBD vs. TBD, 4 p.m. (ESPN); TBD vs. TBD, 6:30 p.m. (ESPN); TBD vs. TBD, 9 p.m. (ESPN)

                            

2020 NBA Regional TV Schedule (All Start Times ET)

July 31: Orlando Magic vs. Brooklyn Nets, 2:30 p.m.; Phoenix Suns vs. Washington Wizards, 4 p.m.; Memphis Grizzlies vs. Portland Trail Blazers, 4 p.m., Sacramento Kings vs. San Antonio Spurs, 8 p.m.

Aug. 1: Philadelphia 76ers vs. Indiana Pacers, 7 p.m. 

Aug. 2: Washington Wizards vs. Brooklyn Nets, 2 p.m.; San Antonio Spurs vs. Memphis Grizzlies, 4 p.m.; Dallas Mavericks vs. Phoenix Suns, 6 p.m.; Sacramento Kings vs. Orlando Magic, 9 p.m.

Aug. 3: Toronto Raptors vs. Miami Heat, 1:30 p.m.; Denver Nuggets vs. Oklahoma City Thunder, 4 p.m.; Indiana Pacers vs. Washington Wizards, 4 p.m.; San Antonio Spurs vs. Philadelphia 76ers, 8 p.m.

Aug. 4: Brooklyn Nets vs. Milwaukee Bucks, 1:30 p.m.; Dallas Mavericks vs. Sacramento Kings, 2:30 p.m.; Phoenix Suns vs. Los Angeles Clippers, 4 p.m.; Orlando Magic vs. Indiana Pacers, 6 p.m.

Aug. 5: Memphis Grizzlies vs. Utah Jazz, 2:30 p.m.; Philadelphia 76ers vs. Washington Wizards, 4 p.m.; Denver Nuggets vs. San Antonio Spurs, 4 p.m.; Toronto Raptors vs. Orlando Magic, 8 p.m.

Aug. 6: New Orleans Pelicans vs. Sacramento Kings, 1:30 p.m.; Indiana Pacers vs. Phoenix Suns, 4 p.m.; Portland Trail Blazers vs. Denver Nuggets, 8 p.m. 

Aug. 7: Utah Jazz vs. San Antonio Spurs, 1 p.m.; Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Memphis Grizzlies, 4 p.m.; Sacramento Kings vs. Brooklyn Nets, 5 p.m.; Washington Wizards vs. New Orleans Pelicans, 8 p.m.

Aug. 8: Phoenix Suns vs. Miami Heat, 7:30 p.m.

Aug. 9: Washington Wizards vs. Oklahoma City Thunder, 12:30 p.m.; Memphis Grizzlies vs. Toronto Raptors, 2 p.m.; Orlando Magic vs. Boston Celtics, 5 p.m.; Philadelphia 76ers vs. Portland Trail Blazers, 6:30 p.m.; Houston Rockets vs. Sacramento Kings, 8 p.m.; Brooklyn Nets vs. Los Angeles Clippers, 9 p.m.

Aug. 10: Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Phoenix Suns, 2:30 p.m.; Dallas Mavericks vs. Utah Jazz, 3 p.m.; Indiana Pacers vs. Miami Heat, 8 p.m.

Aug. 11: Brooklyn Nets vs. Orlando Magic, 1 p.m.; Houston Rockets vs. San Antonio Spurs, 2 p.m.; Phoenix Suns vs. Philadelphia 76ers, 4:30 p.m.; Portland Trail Blazers vs. Dallas Mavericks, 5 p.m.; Milwaukee Bucks vs. Washington Wizards, 9 p.m.

Aug. 12: Indiana Pacers vs. Houston Rockets, 4 p.m.; Miami Heat vs. Oklahoma City Thunder, 8 p.m.

Aug. 13: Washington Wizards vs. Boston Celtics, TBD; New Orleans Pelicans vs. Orlando Magic, TBD; Milwaukee Bucks vs. Memphis Grizzlies, TBD; Dallas Mavericks vs. Phoenix Suns, TBD; San Antonio Spurs vs. Utah Jazz, TBD; Sacramento Kings vs. Los Angeles Lakers, TBD; Portland Trail Blazers vs. Brooklyn Nets, TBD

Aug. 14: Denver Nuggets vs. Toronto Raptors, TBD; Philadelphia 76ers vs. Houston Rockets, TBD; Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Los Angeles Clippers, TBD; Miami Heat vs. Indiana Pacers, TBD

                          

The NBA board of governors officially approved Commissioner Adam Silver's proposal of a 22-team restart in a vote June 4. The National Basketball Players Association voted in favor of the proposal the following day, but the union and league would hold further negotiations about various details. 

In the aftermath of that agreement, players began voicing their concerns about restarting the season during the coronavirus pandemic and given the social unrest occurring across the U.S. following the recent killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and Rayshard Brooks.

According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and Malika Andrews, a coalition of players, led by Kyrie Irving and Avery Bradley—who has since opted to sit out the restartformed "to take on a leading role in exploring answers and solutions for fellow players the group believes to be justifiably reluctant to speak for themselves."

In a statement provided to Wojnarowski and Andrews, the coalition issued a statement about their mission:

"We are combating the issues that matter most: We will not accept the racial injustices that continue to be ignored in our communities. We will not be kept in the dark when it comes to our health and well-being. And we will not ignore the financial motivations/expectations that have prevented us historically from making sound decisions.

"This is not about individual players, athletes or entertainers. This is about our group of strong men and women uniting for change. We have our respective fields, however, we will not just shut up and play to distract us from what this whole system has been about: Use and Abuse.

"We are all fathers, daughters, leaders and so much more. So what is our BIG picture? We are in this for UNITY and CHANGE!"

Silver told ESPN's Mike Greenberg (h/t CBS Sports' Sam Quinn) that the league and union reached an agreement on a provision that would allow players to sit out the Orlando restart without being in breach of their contracts: 

"We're trying to find a way to our own normal in the middle of a pandemic, in the middle of essentially a recession or worse with 40 million unemployed. And now with enormous social unrest in the country. So as we work through these issues, I can understand how some players may feel that it's not for them. And like you said, it could be for a host of reasons, it may be for family reasons, it may be for health reasons they have, or it may be because they feel, as some players have said very recently, that their time is best spent elsewhere."

Under the modified return-to-play format, the top eight teams in each conference when the season was suspended March 11 were invited to Florida.

The Portland Trail Blazers, Sacramento Kings, New Orleans Pelicans, San Antonio Spurs, Phoenix Suns and Washington Wizards round out the 22-team field. 

According to NBA.com, the remaining regular-season matchups serve as seeding games that will finalize matchups for the postseason. All games, including the playoffs, will be held at ESPN's Wide World of Sports resort at Walt Disney World. 

The top seven seeds are assured a spot in the playoffs; the No. 8 seed could be determined by a play-in tournament, if the No. 9 seed is four or fewer games back in the standings at the end of the season. 

Since teams can finish the season with a different number of games played, ESPN's Tim Bontemps has reported the NBA will use winning percentage to determine seeding. 

This will be the first NBA season since the lockout-shortened 2011-12 campaign to not feature a full 82-game schedule.  

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