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Spenser Heaps, KSL

Reports: NBA to vote on 22-team restart on Thursday

By Ryan Miller, KSL.com | Updated - Jun. 3, 2020 at 11:14 a.m. | Posted - Jun. 3, 2020 at 10:55 a.m.



SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Jazz have clinched a playoff spot.

Considering, just a few weeks ago, there was doubt whether the 2020 playoffs would even occur, that’s a pretty big deal. But now, all signs point to the NBA restarting its season July 31 in Florida.

According to multiple reports, the NBA will bring 22 teams to the ESPN Wide World Of Sports complex on the Disney campus near Orlando and play eight regular-season games to determine playoff seeding before the postseason begins.

The Western Conference will have 13 teams going to Disney, and the Eastern Conference would have nine. Only teams with a mathematical chance of making the playoffs will resume play.

The NBA's Board of Governors will have a vote to formally accept the plan on Thursday, KSL.com confirmed. The league will need a three-fourths approval of the plan among NBA teams to move forward.

Games will begin on July 31 with the final possible date for Game 7 of the Finals being Oct. 12, according to ESPN.

In the West, Memphis, Portland, New Orleans, Sacramento, San Antonio and Phoenix all still have a mathematical chance of earning a spot in a play-in series. According to The Athletic, if the No. 9 seed is more than four games behind, the No. 8 seed will make the playoffs. If the No. 9 seed is less than four games back, the eighth and ninth seed will enter a play-in series. That series will be single elimination for the No. 9 seed and double elimination for the eighth seed.

The Jazz, currently the fourth seed in the West, are currently 9.5 games ahead of No. 8 seed Memphis, meaning they will already be safely in the bracket when they arrive at Disney.

The NBA suspended its season on March 11 after Jazz center Rudy Gobert became the first player in the NBA to test positive for the coronavirus.

Ryan Miller

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