The NBA has approved its plans to have only 22 teams partake in the competition when the 2019/2020 season restarts on July 31.
The selected teams are set to play at the Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Florida. The teams will have all their games and practices on the campus after the NBA’s board moved with a decision to continue the season after a long break imposed by the Coronavirus.
Included in the 22 teams heading to Florida are the 16 teams who occupied the playoff spots before the season was halted in March, while the other 6 teams come from teams within six games of the eighth and final seeds in the Eastern and Western Conferences.
The decision taken by the NBA means the season is over for teams like Charlotte Hornets, Chicago Bulls, New York Knicks, Detroit Pistons, Atlanta Hawks, Cleveland Cavaliers, Minnesota Timberwolves and the Golden State Warriors.
The selected 22 teams are set to play eight games to determine the 16 teams who advance to the playoffs.
In a statement, the NBA Commissioner, Adam Silver said: “The board’s approval of the restart format is a necessary step towards the resumption of the NBA season.”
He went ahead to say that: “While the COVID-19 pandemic presents formidable challenges, we are hopeful of finishing the season in a safe and responsible manner based on strict protocols now being finalized with the public health officials and medical experts.”
“We also recognize that as we prepare to resume play, our society is reeling from recent tragedies of racial violence and injustice, and we will continue to work closely with our teams and players in order to use our collective resources and influence to address these issues in very real and concrete ways,” he added.
The NBA season was suspended in March after Rudy Gobert of Utah Jazz tested positive for coronavirus.