The 2020-21 NBA schedule will feature a play-in tournament similar to the one that took place when this previous season resumed in the Disney World bubble. Since it is being included again, the NBA Finals could end up running until July 22.
As a result, certain NBA players will not be able to compete in the rescheduled Tokyo Olympics next summer.
The 2020 Olympics were originally slated to take place this previous summer, but we’re postponed until 2021 because of the prevalent Covid-19 pandemic. The Olympics are now scheduled to run from July 23 to August 8, 2021.
There will be qualifying tournaments for the final four positions in the men’s Olympic field, which are rescheduled to run from June 29 through July 4. There should be several teams still being involved in the NBA Finals chase at that time, making those players unable to compete in the Olympics.
The NBA schedule was pushed back as a result of the 2019-20 season ending in October. The coronavirus pandemic forced the league to pause from March until July before resuming Disney World bubble.
The 2020-21 season will now start on December 22 and consist of a 72-game schedule. After the regular season, the play-in tournament will include the No. 7 through No. 10 seeds in each conference. Those four teams in each conference will face off in order to decide the final two playoffs spots in each Conference.
When the NBA did this last season, the Portland Trail Blazers edged out a series win against the Memphis Grizzlies for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.