The NBA is getting close to crowning a winner as the playoffs are ready to get underway, which is making the bubble much smaller now at Disney World in Orlando. This season has been great for fans because it gave them everything they were waiting for like amazing underdog wins, a few occasions of players butting heads (literally), and athletes sneaking away to score hot wings.
NBA Playoffs Tip Off In The Bubble
Since the regular season is coming to an end, the playoffs are to start, and fans can expect to see a lot of the same action when the postseason starts next Monday. Chances are that the postseason will be extraordinary.
Play-in Competition For The West
Before the NBA playoffs start, a play-in bubble tournament will be contested in the Western Conference between two teams, the Portland Trail Blazers (in eighth place) and the Memphis Grizzlies (in ninth place).
Due to the fact that they are only four games apart, this play-in will determine the eighth seed for the postseason, which the Blazers can have if they win the first game Saturday. If, on the contrary, the Grizzlies win Game 1, they can advance to eighth if they take the second game on Sunday. This season, seeding isn’t that important as it has been in previous seasons, as there is no true “home court” advantage for the teams because everybody is in the bubble.
Once that series is done, the winner will compete against the LA Lakers in the first round of the postseason. Then, it’s on with the rest of the Western playoffs. The Oklahoma City Thunder will compete against the Houston Rockets, the LA Clippers against the Dallas Mavericks, and, finally the Denver Nuggets will go up against the Utah Jazz. After these games, the conference semifinals will be over.
In the Eastern Conference, the plan for the first round of the NBA postseason in the bubble is already set and no play-in matches are necessary for the playoffs. In this case, the Milwaukee Bucks, who are the leaders of this conference, will compete against the Orlando Magic, the Miami Heat will go up against the Indiana Pacers, the Toronto Raptors will take on the Brooklyn Nets, and, lastly, the Boston Celtics will play against the Philadelphia 76ers.
How NBA Teams Look For A Title
The Lakers have not scored their best numbers in the NBA restart this season; however, they already secured their position in the West, so it means that they weren’t that stressed or worried about showing 100% in the games. Still, despite the weak showing, the Lakers are among the favorite teams to win the NBA championship this year, and are currently receiving +250 on most lines. The Lakers share the maximum spot with the Eastern Conference standings leading team, the Bucks, who are also getting +250. Next up are the Clippers, with +270, followed by the Raptors at +900.
The NBA Bubble Works For Playoffs
The NBA restart has brought many surprises, one of which is that anything can happen. Teams that were originally expected to be out of the season early are remaining strong. Basketball is a very dynamic sport and the unexpected becomes the expected. The season has also solidly proven that NBA fans can enjoy games from home, even if they can’t watch the excitement in person. The season has also shown that bubbles are effective because, up to now, the NBA hasn’t reported any positive cases of COVID-19. That should be a hint to all sports leagues.
For the time being, fans can continue seeing the NBA playoffs in the bubble until someone finds a vaccine or a cure to tackle the coronavirus. The pandemic has caused multimillion-dollar losses in revenues for sports leagues in the US and elsewhere, but sports organizations are proving to be resilient.