NBA offers clarity on tiebreakers with uneven schedule

MIAMI – The NBA has told teams that the placement of playoffs will be based on the winning percentage and any tiebreakers required thereafter will follow standard procedures.

It was an issue that needed clarification because the 22 teams heading to the Disney complex near Orlando, Florida for the scheduled resumption of the season next month have not played the same number of games.

The NBA told teams about the plan to use tie breakers in a memo late Friday.

Based on the reboot league plan, with games starting again in late July, Dallas will eventually play an NBA high 75 game. Most of the others play between 72 and 74; the low total will be 71, where San Antonio and the Los Angeles Lakers will end as the NBA’s plans for teams to play eight games at the Disney complex before the playoffs begin to bear fruit.

The NBA has not yet revealed how team schedules will be adjusted once play resumes without Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Golden State, Minnesota and New York participating in the rest of the 2019-20 season.

There are some playoff races that are particularly close and where the teams involved will eventually play a different number of matches.

In the East, Brooklyn and Orlando are separated by a half game, and the Nets will end with one game less than the Magic.

In the West, four teams – Portland, New Orleans, Sacramento and San Antonio – are all separated by a semi-race in the race for ninth place and possibly a berth in a play-in series. The gap between these four teams is 0.010 percentage points and the Trail Blazers play 74 games, the Pelicans and Kings 72 and the Spurs 71.

Typically, NBA teams play 82 games – which was not possible this season due to the coronavirus pandemic and the season’s suspension on March 11.

This is the first season in which NBA teams have played an odd number of games since 2012-2013, when a game between the Boston Celtics and Indiana Pacers was canceled in response to the Boston Marathon bombing. The Celtics and Pacers finished at 81 games, but that didn’t affect that season’s playoff seeding.

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