THE RESTART OF THE NBA NEAR
The NBA is back and will restart with LeBron, Kawhi and Zion featruing in a double-header to open the schedule in Orlando, Florida.
The NBA released its games schedule with the season restarting on July 30th. Zion and the Pelicans will kick-off the restart against Utah and Rudy Gobert, whose positive Covid test for helped lead to the lockdown of the NBA season back on March 11th, which seems like a lifetime ago.
Following that, LeBron, Anthony Davis and the Lakers resume their title chase against Khawi and the LA Clippers in a clash of the two best teams in the West. The Lakers (49-14) are ahead of the Clippers (44-20) in the West by 5 1/2 games. It will be interesting to see how many minutes the teams will play their stars given the extended layoff.
The league has never dealt with the challenges of restarting a season after a 4+ month hiatus. With 22 teams each stuffed into an 8-game seeding portion of the schedule in between July 30th and August 14th, there will be three times during the restart schedule in which 7 games will be played during one day. Each team will also play one back-to-back set.
On August 9th, one of the days in which there are 7 games scheduled, the Wizards and OKC tip off at 12:30 p.m. ET, the earliest start of all games. That day ends with the Nets and Clippers at 9 p.m.
If a team is within 4 games of the 8th seed in a conference at the end of the seeding games, there will be a play-in tournament to determine the 8th playoff seed.
All Times Eastern
Thursday, July 30
Utah vs. New Orleans, 6:30 p.m.
L.A. Clippers vs. L.A. Lakers, 9 p.m.
Friday, July 31
Orlando vs. Brooklyn, 2:30 p.m.
Memphis vs. Portland, 4 p.m.
Phoenix vs. Washington, 4 p.m.
Boston vs. Milwaukee, 6:30 p.m.
Sacramento vs. San Antonio, 8 p.m.
Houston vs. Dallas, 9 p.m.
Saturday, Aug. 1
Miami vs. Denver, 1 p.m.
Utah vs. Oklahoma City, 3:30 p.m.
New Orleans vs. L.A. Clippers, 6 p.m.
Philadelphia vs. Indianapolis, 7 p.m.
L.A. Lakers vs. Toronto, 8:30 p.m.
Sunday, Aug. 2
Washington vs. Brooklyn, 2 p.m.
Portland vs. Boston, 3:30 p.m.
San Antonio vs. Memphis, 4 p.m.
Sacramento vs. Orlando, 6 p.m.
Milwaukee vs. Houston, 8:30 p.m.
Dallas vs. Phoenix, 9 p.m.
Monday, Aug. 3
Toronto vs. Miami, 1:30 p.m.
Denver vs. Oklahoma City, 4 p.m.
Indianapolis vs. Washington, 4 p.m.
Memphis vs. New Orleans, 6:30 p.m.
San Antonio vs. Philadelphia, 8 p.m.
L.A. Lakers vs. Utah, 9 p.m.
Tuesday, Aug. 4
Brooklyn vs. Milwaukee, 1:30 p.m.
Dallas vs. Sacramento, 2:30 p.m.
Phoenix vs. L.A. Clippers, 4 p.m.
Orlando vs. Indianapolis, 6 p.m.
Boston vs. Miami, 6:30 p.m.
Houston vs. Portland, 9 p.m.
Wednesday, Aug. 5
Memphis vs. Utah, 2:30 p.m.
Philadelphia vs. Washington, 4 p.m.
Denver vs. San Antonio, 4 p.m.
Oklahoma City vs. L.A. Lakers, 6:30 p.m.
Toronto vs. Orlando, 8 p.m.
Brooklyn vs. Boston, 9 p.m.
Thursday, Aug. 6
New Orleans vs. Sacramento, 1:30 p.m.
Miami vs. Milwaukee, 4 p.m.
Indianapolis vs. Phoenix, 4 p.m.
L.A. Clippers vs. Dallas, 6:30 p.m.
Portland vs. Denver, 8 p.m.
L.A. Lakers vs. Houston, 9 p.m.
Friday, Aug. 7
Utah vs. San Antonio, 1 p.m.
Oklahoma City vs. Memphis, 4 p.m.
Sacramento vs. Brooklyn, 5 p.m.
Orlando vs. Philadelphia, 6:30 p.m.
Washington vs. New Orleans, 8 p.m.
Boston vs. Toronto, 9 p.m.
Saturday, Aug. 8
L.A. Clippers vs. Portland, 1 p.m.
Utah vs. Denver, 3:30 p.m.
L.A. Lakers vs. Indianapolis, 6 p.m.
Phoenix vs. Miami, 7:30 p.m.
Milwaukee vs. Dallas, 8:30 p.m.
Sunday, Aug. 9
Washington vs. Oklahoma City, 12:30 p.m.
Memphis vs. Toronto, 2 p.m.
San Antonio vs. New Orleans, 3 p.m.
Orlando vs. Boston, 5 p.m.
Philadelphia vs. Portland, 6:30 p.m.
Houston vs. Sacramento, 8 p.m.
Brooklyn vs. L.A. Clippers, 9 p.m.
Monday, Aug. 10
Oklahoma City vs. Phoenix, 2:30 p.m.
Dallas vs. Utah, 3 p.m.
Toronto vs. Milwaukee, 6:30 p.m.
Indianapolis vs. Miami, 8 p.m.
Denver vs. L.A. Lakers, 9 p.m.
Tuesday, Aug. 11
Brooklyn vs. Orlando, 1 p.m.
Houston vs. San Antonio, 2 p.m.
Phoenix vs. Philadelphia, 4:30 p.m.
Portland vs. Dallas, 5 p.m.
Boston vs. Memphis, 6:30 p.m.
New Orleans vs. Sacramento, 9 p.m.
Milwaukee vs. Washington, 9 p.m.
Wednesday, Aug. 12
Indianapolis vs. Houston, 4 p.m.
Toronto vs. Philadelphia, 6:30 p.m.
Miami vs. Oklahoma City, 8 p.m.
L.A. Clippers vs. Denver, 9 p.m.
Thursday, Aug. 13
Washington vs. Boston, TBA
Portland vs. Brooklyn, TBA
Sacramento vs. L.A. Lakers, TBA
Milwaukee vs. Memphis, TBA
New Orleans vs. Orlando, TBA
Dallas vs. Phoenix, TBA
San Antonio vs. Utah, TBA
Friday, Aug. 14
Philadelphia vs. Houston, TBA
Miami vs. Indianapolis, TBA
Oklahoma City vs. L.A. Clippers, TBA
Denver vs. Toronto, TBA
Looking forward to smashing out some more free NBA picks.