This years NBA season was the first North American sports league to be interrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic after Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz tested positive March 11th only 2 days after playing the Toronto Raptors in Utah in what would be both teams final game before the restart would later be announced.
Rudy was all over the news about how he handled the Corona virus pre and post-game that day after laughing off questions about the virus and how it would affect the NBA and proceeding to touch every single microphone, phone and recording device that the media had left on press room table to record interviews.
He then left the room and allegedly touched some of his teammates’ personal items in dressing room to further prove nothing was wrong.
Only moments prior to the game between the Utah Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder the NBA announced to an arena full of fans in OKC that the game was being postponed but did not specify over PA as to the reason but word spread very quickly through social media about the exact reason.
Shortly after it came out that this game was postponed due to a positive Covid-19 case the only other game yet to tip off was also postponed between New Orleans Pelicans and Sacramento Kings and that was officially the start of the shutdown of the NBA and subsequently the rest of pro sports in North America.
After Months of the NBA being shut down it was announced in July that the NBA was ready to return and would be creating a “Bubble” in Orlando at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex at Disney World. The league announced that they would play 8 regular season games to sort out seeding followed by the playoffs in the regular 16 team format.
The teams that were invited to the bubble were the teams that were within 8 games of a playoff spot at the shut down in March which would include the top 9 teams in Eastern Conference and 13of 15 teams in a very tight Western Conference.
The Regular Season continues
After playing the 8 games to finish out the regular season there were a few teams that surprised everyone including the Phoenix Suns who went a perfect 8-0 in the bubble yet it ended up not being enough to get into the playoffs thanks to strong games by the Portland Trail Blazers and Memphis Grizzlies who would end of having to play a Play-In game on Saturday Aug 15 to figure out the 8 seed.
The seeding game was won and the number 8 seed in West ended up being given to the Portland Trail Blazers who will be in tough in the first round. Meanwhile in the East the only team not in top 8 heading in did not manage to make up ground and stayed in the 9 seed as the top 8 teams stayed the same.
The seeding for NBA playoffs is set
- (1) Milwaukee Bucs
- (2) Toronto Raptors
- (3) Boston Celtics
- (4) Indiana Pacers
- (5) Miami Heat
- (6) Philadelphia 76’ers
- (7) Brooklyn Nets
- (8) Orlando Magic
- (1) Bucs vs (8) Orlando Magic
- (2) Raptors vs (7) Nets
- (3) Celtics vs (6) Sixers
- (4) Pacers vs (5) Heat
- (1) Los Angeles Lakers
- (2) Los Angeles Clippers
- (3) Denver Nuggets
- (4) Houston Rockets
- (5) Oklahoma City Thunder
- (6) Utah Jazz
- (7) Dallas Mavericks
- (8) Portland Trail Blazers
- (1) Lakers vs (8) Blazers
- (2) Clippers vs (7) Mavs
- (3) Nuggets vs (6) Jazz
- (4) Rockets vs (5) Thunder
As everyone remembers it was a year ago that the NBA Title ended up coming north of the border for first time ever when the Toronto Raptors won the NBA Championship for first time in franchise history over the Golden State Warriors in 6 games. The Raptors were having a great year even with the loss of Danny Green and Kawhi Leonard to the Lakers and Clippers respectively in Free Agency and they didn’t disappoint when the restart happened going an impressive 7-1 with some big wins over #1 seed Lakers and Bucs during their 8 game session.
Thanks to a big showing in the bubble the defending champs finish the regular season with a 53-19 record and franchise record 73.6% win rate and are the league leaders with a 69.3% win rate (277/400) over the last 5 seasons.
Will the Raptors repeat as Champs or will we see a new Champion this year? Stay tuned to find out and keep an eye out for more of Eric R’s Sports Nut News videos and articles to recap for us Buds!