What you need to know about the NBA 2020-21 season
What’s new for the 2020-21 NBA season during the continuing COVID-19 pandemic?
A shorter season, a new play-in tournament in each conference for the playoffs and a couple of rules changes. Here’s a closer look.
The COVID-19 pandemic led to the longest season in NBA history for 2019-20, finishing Oct. 11. The NBA and its players’ union agreed to a 72-game season for 2020-21, 10 less than usual, beginning Dec. 22 and ending July 22 if there is a Game 7 of the NBA Finals. That allows two things: NBA players to compete in the delayed Tokyo Olympics and the league to move to its usual calendar for the 2021-22 season. Each team will play three games against their conference rivals and two games against teams from the other conference.
At the conclusion of the regular season, the postseason will begin with the seventh- through 10th-place teams based on winning percentages in each conference playing into the first round of the playoffs. The Nos. 7-8 teams will play for the seventh spot, while the loser of that game will have a playoff against the winner of the No. 9-10 teams for the eighth and final spot. Higher-seeded teams host each playoff game.
— The coach’s challenge, which was experimental last season, is here to stay. Of the 700 calls challenged last season, 308 (44%) were overturned.
— Rosters will be expanded on game day from 13 to 15 players.
Get our high school sports newsletter
Prep Rally is devoted to the SoCal high school sports experience, bringing you scores, stories and a behind-the-scenes look at what makes prep sports so popular.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.