New Orleans Pelicans
NBAE/Getty Images

NBA announces structure and format for 2020-21 season

Play-In Tournament to determine teams that fill seventh and eighth playoff seeds in each conference
by Pelicans.com

NEW YORK, Nov. 17, 2020 – The NBA today announced the structure and format for the 2020-21 season, which will include a Play-In Tournament to determine the teams that will fill the seventh and eighth playoff seeds in each conference.

The NBA’s 75th regular season will begin on Tuesday, Dec. 22 and feature 72 games for each team.  The opponent breakdown for the regular season is described below:

Each team will play three games against each intraconference opponent (42 total games per team), with each pairing featuring either two home games and one road game or one home game and two road games.  Within each team’s division, the league office has randomly assigned which two opponents will be played twice at home and which two opponents will be played twice on the road.

All five teams from within a division will play all five teams from one other intraconference division twice at home, and all five teams from the remaining intraconference division twice on the road. 

Each team will play two games against each interconference opponent (30 total games per team), with each pairing featuring one home game and one road game.

The 2020-21 regular-season schedule will be released in two segments.  The schedule for the First Half of the season will be released around the start of training camp.  The schedule for the Second Half of the season will be released during the latter part of the First Half portion of the schedule.  The Second Half schedule will include the remainder of each team’s 72 games not scheduled in the First Half as well as any games postponed during the First Half that can reasonably be added to the Second Half schedule.

The All-Star break is scheduled to take place March 5-10, 2021, between the First Half and Second Half of the regular season.

Earlier today, the NBA Board of Governors unanimously approved a proposal to implement a playoff Play-In Tournament on a one-year basis for the 2020-21 season.  The Play-In Tournament, which will take place after the regular season and before the first round of the playoffs, will include the teams with the seventh-highest through the tenth-highest winning percentages in each conference.

The teams with the seventh-highest and eighth-highest winning percentages in each conference will each have two opportunities to win one game to earn a playoff spot.  The teams with the ninth-highest and tenth-highest winning percentages in each conference will each have to win two consecutive games to earn a playoff spot.

At the conclusion of the regular season, the team with the seventh-highest winning percentage in each conference will host the team with the eighth-highest winning percentage in its conference in a Play-In Game (the “Seven-Eight Game”).  The winner of the Seven-Eight Game in each conference will be the seventh seed in the playoffs for its conference.

The team with the ninth-highest winning percentage in each conference will host the team with the tenth-highest winning percentage in its conference in a Play-In Game (the “Nine-Ten Game”).  The loser of the Seven-Eight Game will host the winner of the Nine-Ten Game in a Play-In Game, and the winner of that game will be the eighth seed in the playoffs for its conference.

Below is the tentative schedule calendar for the 2020-21 season:

Dec. 11-19, 2020: Preseason games

Dec. 22, 2020 – March 4, 2021: First Half of regular season

March 5-10, 2021: All-Star break

March 11 – May 16, 2021: Second Half of regular season

May 18-21, 2021: Play-In Tournament

May 22 – July 22, 2021: 2021 NBA playoffs

David Griffin on mutual parting with Stan Van Gundy

New Orleans Pelicans Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations David Griffin talked to the media about mutually parting ways with head coach Stan Van Gundy.

All Videos

Scroll Video up Scroll Video down Scroll Video left Scroll Video right

David Griffin on mutual parting with Stan Van Gundy

New Orleans Pelicans Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations David Griffin talked to the media about mutually parting ways with head coach Stan Van Gundy.
Jun 16, 2021  |  20:26

Teresa Weatherspoon & Kira Lewis Jr. talk unique, pre-NBA connection

New Orleans Pelicans assistant coach Teresa Weatherspoon and guard Kira Lewis Jr. talk about their unique connection from Kira's childhood.
Jun 10, 2021  |  03:36

Highlights: James Johnson Top Plays | 2020-2021 Pelicans Season

Check out the top plays and highlights from New Orleans Pelicans forward James Johnson during the 2020-2021 NBA season.
Jun 9, 2021  |  02:09

Highlights: Naji Marshall Top Plays | 2020-2021 Pelicans Season

Check out the top plays and highlights from New Orleans Pelicans forward Naji Marshall during the 2020-2021 NBA season.
Jun 8, 2021  |  02:23

Highlights: Kira Lewis Jr. Top Plays | 2020-2021 Pelicans Season

Check out the top plays and highlights from New Orleans Pelicans guard Kira Lewis Jr. during the 2020-2021 NBA season.
Jun 7, 2021  |  02:31

Highlights: Willy Hernangomez Top Plays | 2020-2021 Pelicans Season

Check out the top plays and highlights from New Orleans Pelicans center Willy Hernangomez during the 2020-2021 NBA season.
Jun 4, 2021  |  02:07

Highlights: Nickeil Alexander-Walker Top Plays | 2020-2021 Pelicans Season

Check out the top plays and highlights from New Orleans Pelicans guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker during the 2020-2021 NBA season.
Jun 3, 2021  |  02:29

Highlights: Jaxson Hayes Top Plays | 2020-2021 Pelicans Season

Check out the top plays and highlights from New Orleans Pelicans center Jaxson Hayes during the 2020-2021 NBA season.
Jun 2, 2021  |  02:22

Highlights: Josh Hart Top Plays | 2020-2021 Pelicans Season

Check out the top plays and highlights from New Orleans Pelicans guard Josh Hart during the 2020-2021 NBA season.
Jun 1, 2021  |  02:09

Pelicans Red Bull Wings Cam 2021: Chapter 5

Check out some of the best highlights at the rim from the NBA 2020-21 season with the Pelicans Red Bull Wings Cam.
May 29, 2021  |  00:30

Highlights: Eric Bledsoe Top Plays | 2020-2021 Pelicans Season

Check out the top plays and highlights from New Orleans Pelicans guard Eric Bledsoe during the 2020-2021 NBA season.
May 28, 2021  |  02:18

Highlights: Steven Adams Top Plays | 2020-2021 Pelicans Season

Check out the top plays and highlights from New Orleans Pelicans center Steven Adams during the 2020-2021 NBA season.
May 27, 2021  |  02:25

Highlights: Top 10 Plays of Pelicans 2020-21 NBA Season

Check out highlights of the top 10 plays from the New Orleans Pelicans' 2020-21 NBA season.
May 26, 2021  |  01:36

Highlights: Lonzo Ball Top Plays | 2020-2021 Pelicans Season

Check out the top plays and highlights from New Orleans Pelicans guard Lonzo Ball during the 2020-2021 NBA season.
May 26, 2021  |  02:39

Highlights: Zion Williamson Top Plays | 2020-2021 Pelicans Season

Check out the top plays and highlights from New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson during the 2020-2021 NBA season.
May 25, 2021  |  02:32

Highlights: Top 10 Dunks of Pelicans 2020-21 NBA Season

Check out highlights of the top 10 dunks from the New Orleans Pelicans' 2020-21 NBA season.
May 24, 2021  |  01:18

Highlights: Brandon Ingram Top Plays | 2020-2021 Pelicans Season

Check out the top plays and highlights from New Orleans Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram during the 2020-2021 NBA season.
May 24, 2021  |  02:07

Pelicans Highlights: Top 21 Jaxson Hayes Dunks

In celebration of his 21st birthday, check out highlight of the Top 21 dunks and throwdowns of New Orleans Pelicans center Jaxson Hayes' NBA career.
May 23, 2021  |  03:23

Highlights: Top 10 Three Pointers of Pelicans 2020-21 NBA Season

New Orleans Pelicans highlights of the the top 10 three point shots from the 2020-21 NBA Season.
May 21, 2021  |  02:51

ACME Reading Timeout with Pelicans Naji Marshall

The New Orleans Pelicans teamed up with ACME Truck Line, Inc. to help local students learn more about the importance of reading. Forward Naji Marshall made a virtual visit to host a Q&A with the students at a recent Reading Time Out event.
May 21, 2021  |  01:17

Highlights: Top 5 Blocks of Pelicans 2020-21 NBA Season

New Orleans Pelicans highlights of the the top 5 blocks from the 2020-21 NBA Season.
May 20, 2021  |  01:34

Lonzo Ball & Jaxson Hayes | Pelicans Drip Watch | Ep. 4

In our fourth episode of Pelicans Drip Watch, we check in with local fashion influencers to highlight a few recent pregame fits from Lonzo Ball and Jaxson Hayes.
May 19, 2021  |  13:25

Brandon Ingram End of Season Press Conference | 2020-21 Pelicans Season

New Orleans Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram speaks about the team's 2020-21 season and offseason plans heading into next year.
May 17, 2021  |  09:21

Steven Adams End of Season Press Conference | 2020-21 Pelicans Season

New Orleans Pelicans center Steven Adams speaks about the team's 2020-21 season and offseason plans heading into next year.
May 17, 2021  |  06:19

Nickeil Alexander-Walker End of Season Press Conference | 2020-21 Pelicans Season

New Orleans Pelicans guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker speaks about the team's 2020-21 season and offseason plans heading into next year.
May 17, 2021  |  05:00

James Nunnally End of Season Press Conference | 2020-21 Pelicans Season

New Orleans Pelicans forward James Nunnally speaks about the team's 2020-21 season and offseason plans heading into next year.
May 17, 2021  |  04:50

Naji Marshall End of Season Press Conference | 2020-21 Pelicans Season

New Orleans Pelicans forward Naji Marshall speaks about the team's 2020-21 season and offseason plans heading into next year.
May 17, 2021  |  05:18

Willy Hernangómez End of Season Press Conference | 2020-21 Pelicans Season

New Orleans Pelicans center Willy Hernangómez speaks about the team's 2020-21 season and offseason plans heading into next year.
May 17, 2021  |  06:44

Jaxson Hayes End of Season Press Conference | 2020-21 Pelicans Season

New Orleans Pelicans center Jaxson Hayes speaks about the team's 2020-21 season and offseason plans heading into next year.
May 17, 2021  |  05:24

Eric Bledsoe End of Season Press Conference | 2020-21 Pelicans Season

New Orleans Pelicans guard Eric Bledsoe speaks about the team's 2020-21 season and offseason plans heading into next year.
May 17, 2021  |  06:09

Related Content

NEXT UP:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter