The light is not yet green and there are still some hurdles that need to be cleared. But the plan is in place for the league to resume the 2019-20 season.
If the plan comes to fruition, it will be basketball unlike anything we've ever seen. The experience of watching the NBA playoffs in a small arena with no fans will be weird. But it will be real basketball with real stakes, real results, and a real champion will be crowned.
The players will be on the same teams that they were in March, but, even beyond the no-fans thing, it may feel like a very different season. What we're in the middle of right now is not an All-Star break. It's 20 weeks off. There is no precedent for it.
With a few exceptions (Kevin Durant, John Wall, etc.), we'll assume better circumstances for teams that weren't so healthy before the season went on hiatus. But we know that there will be more injuries and issues once teams open up training camps. Even with only eight "seeding games" before the urgency of the playoffs, depth could matter.
For the eight teams that are no longer playing, missing out on 15-18 games of reps for their young or newly acquired players is tough. And there's a valid and important question of how much (and what kind of) work their young guys will be able to get in between now and the start of next season.
But priority No. 1 is the health of the players, coaches, staff and the general public. Priority No. 2 is getting back to playing basketball.
We're still a long way from that happening, but with the plan in place, it's time to start thinking about how things will play out. So here's a special, hiatus edition of Power Rankings, with the usual notes and numbers regarding all 30 teams.
East vs. West
Movement in the Rankings
- High jumps of the hiatus: Detroit (+4), Chicago (+3), Denver (+3), Minnesota (+3), Portland (+3)
- Free falls of the hiatus: Utah (-5), Charlotte (-4), Sacramento (-3)
- March 9: Lakers end Bucks' 14-week run at top
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Pace: Possessions per 48 minutes (League Rank)
OffRtg: Points scored per 100 possessions (League Rank)
DefRtg: Points allowed per 100 possessions (League Rank)
NetRtg: Point differential per 100 possessions (League Rank)
The league has averaged 100.7 possessions (per team) per 48 minutes and 109.9 points scored per 100 possessions this season.
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NBA.com's Power Rankings, released every Monday during the season, are just one man's opinion. If you have an issue with the rankings, or have a question or comment for John Schuhmann, send him an e-mail or contact him via Twitter.
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