NEW YORK – The NBA today announced the structure and format for the 2020-21 season, and there will be a Play-In Tournament to determine which teams will fill the seed in the seventh and eighth playoffs at each conference.
The 75th regular season of the NBA begins Tuesday, Dec. 22, with 72 games per team. The regular season opponent breakdown is available here and is described below:
- Each team will play three games against each opponent within the opposition (a total of 42 games per team), each pair will have two home games and one road game or one home game.
and two road games. Within each team’s department, the league office randomly assigns which two opponents will play twice at home and which two opponents will play twice on the road.
- The five teams in one division will play twice in the other two teams in the indoor conference division, and the other five teams in the other conference division will play twice on the road.
- Each team will play two games against each opponent in the interconference (30 games in total per team), and each pair will have one home game and one road game.
The 2020-21 regular season program will be released in two segments. The first half schedule of the season will be released towards the start of the training camp. The schedule for the second part of the season will be published in the last part of the first part of the schedule. The schedule of the second half will include the remaining games of the 72 games not scheduled in the first half, as well as the games postponed in the first half, matches that can reasonably be added to the schedule of the second half.
The All-Star break is scheduled for March 5-10, 2021, between the first and second half of the regular season.
This morning, the NBA Board of Governors unanimously approved a proposal to implement the 2020-21 playoff tournament for the 2020-21 season. The Play-In Tournament, after the regular season and before the first round of the playoffs, will feature the top ten percent teams with the seventh highest in each conference.
The teams that win the seventh highest and eighth highest in each conference will have two chances to win each game to win a playoff spot. The teams with the ninth and tenth most wins in each conference will have to win two games in a row to advance to the playoffs.
At the end of the regular season, the team that scores the seventh highest percentage of wins in each conference will take on the team that won the eighth highest percentage of its conference in its Conference Play-In Game (“Seven-Eight Game”). The winner of Game Seven of Eight per conference will be the seventh seed of his conference playoffs.
The team with the highest nine-percent winner in each conference will host the team with the highest ten-percent winner in its conference in a Play-In Game (“Game Nine-Ten”). The loser of Game Seven Eight will take on the winner of Game Nine-Ten in a Play-In Game, and the winner of that game will be the eighth seed of his conference playoffs.
Below is the provisional calendar for the 2020-21 season:
- December 11-19, 2020: Preseason games
- December 22, 2020 – March 4, 2021: First half of the regular season
- March 5 to 10, 2021: A break between the stars
- March 11 – May 16, 2021: Second half of the regular season
- May 18-21, 2021: Play-In Tournament
- May 22, 2021 to July 22, 2021: 2021 NBA playoffs