NBA Season 2020-2021


Brandon Chan, Staff Writer

The National Basketball Association (NBA) and the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) announced on Nov. 9 that they agreed on a Dec. 22 start date (Christmas week) for the 2020-2021 season. However, there are a few alterations to this season. Each team will play 72 regular season games, not the typical 82 regular season games. For some teams this may be beneficial because there will be less wear and tear on their star players’ bodies heading into the postseason. For other teams it might be detrimental because their players need all those games to improve their on-court chemistry.

Remember, the NBA Finals concluded a little over a month ago, meaning the players who played in the NBA Finals and the playoffs for that matter will have an incredibly short off-season. They won’t be able to train, rest, or heal their bodies to the fullest, especially for the older veterans in the league. There will most definitely be some more of the dreaded “load management” for star players such as Kawhi Leonard, Kevin Durant, and LeBron James.

“Bron’s been in the Finals 10 years out of his 17 years, which is unbelievable mentally,” Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard Danny Green said on The Ringer NBA Show. “You know there’s training to do that. And to have that quick of a restart, I wouldn’t expect to see him there. I wouldn’t expect to see him probably for the first month of the season. He’ll probably be working out with us. Probably do some playing, but I just don’t expect guys to want to be there or show up willingly.”

The favorites to win the championship for this upcoming season are the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, Milwaukee Bucks, Golden State Warriors, and Brooklyn Nets. The Lakers still have LeBron James and Anthony Davis (arguably the best duo in the league), the Clippers kept Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, the Bucks return the reigning MVP in Giannis Antetokounmpo, and the Warriors and Nets get insanely talented players back from injury (Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving). Some dark horse teams (teams that are under the radar) are the Boston Celtics, Miami Heat, and Denver Nuggets, all of which made deep runs into the playoffs last year.

“For a simple reason, it doesn’t need to be complicated, like some people might try to make it, they have the greatest shooting backcourt known to man,” Stephen A. Smith said on ESPN’s First Take when discussing who can prevent the Los Angeles Lakers from repeating as champions. “There has never been anybody, a backcourt in NBA history, that can shoot like these brothers, Steph Curry and Klay Thompson.”

While the country is still in a pandemic due to people not wanting to properly social distance at all times, the NBA is hopeful that fans will be in attendance at the start of the season.

“The NBA aims to have arena suites open to fans at 25 to 50% capacity for 2020-21 season tipoff, based on local regulations,” according to Shams Charania via Twitter, an NBA insider and reporter. “An amount of fans—under protocols such as masks, social distancing and coronavirus testing—is a goal to start season.”

The draft and free agency periods are important parts of every NBA season because of the need to add new players to replace current players on ending contracts. This year, the NBA Draft will be held on Nov. 18, negotiations with free agents will begin at 6:00 p.m. ET on Nov. 20, and free agency signings will begin at 12:01 p.m. ET on Nov. 22. This year’s NBA Draft looks promising, with big name players such as Lamelo Ball, Anthony Edwards, and James Wiseman likely going in within the first three picks.

Hopefully this NBA season runs relatively smoothly amid this pandemic.


Photo courtesy of NBA.COM