New York. The two Los Angeles teams, LeBron James’ Lakers and Kawhi Leonard’s Clippers, will meet on July 30 on the opening day of the NBA season restart, which will kick off with a duel between Utah Jazz and New Orleans. Pelicans.
The NBA released this Friday the season finale schedule, in which 22 teams will compete for the ring between the end of July and October at the Disney World sports complex in Orlando (Florida).
The program includes the 88 games – each team will play 8 – that will be played to determine the qualifying franchises for the playoffs and their positions.
The menu of the first day will begin with the duel between the Pelicans of the young phenomenon Zion Williamson and the Jazz of the French center Rudy Gobert, whose contagion of coronavirus forced the suspension of the season since last March 12.
The stellar showdown between the Lakers and the Clippers, two of the main favorites for the title, will now follow, occupying first and second place in the Western Conference, respectively.
On July 31 it will be the turn of the Milwaukee Bucks of Giannis Antetokounmpo, leader of the Eastern Conference, who will play against the Boston Celtics.
“We will be ready,” Celtics forward Gordon Hayward said after the announcement on Twitter.
On that second day, other duels were also scheduled, such as the Memphis Grizzlies against Portland Trail Blazers, the two great candidates to take the last place in the playoffs in the West; and Houston Rockets against Dallas Mavericks, with the duel between James Harden and Luka Doncic.
In the first 16 days, the NBA will offer a marathon of games, up to seven on the same day, which will be played behind closed doors on three Disney World courts, between 12:30 local time (16:30 GMT) and 21:00 (01:00 GMT).
The NBA selected these 88 games from among the 259 in the regular season that were pending following the suspension of the season.
If at the end of the games a franchise is four wins or less from the team that ranks eighth in a Conference, both will play a tie to decide who qualifies for the playoffs.
The playoffs will begin on August 17 and end no later than October 13, if it is necessary to reach the seventh game of the finals.
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