SAN ANTONIO – The end of the 2019-20 NBA season will look somewhat different as the coronavirus pandemic continues to derail American life.

What You Need To Know

  • NBA, NBPA agreed on terms and conditions of season return

  • 22 teams, including all Texas teams, released schedules

  • Season will resume July 30

  • San Antonio without top scorer LaMarcus Aldridge after surgery

More than four and a half months will have passed between game nights in the NBA, but the league officially completed talks Friday with the National Basketball Players Association on the terms for restarting the season and released the 88-game slate of what are being called seeding games.

 “There’s no question this season and frankly this year has been one which none of us will soon forget,” NBPA executive director Michele Roberts said. “Obviously, the virus came at us hard without any prior warning and then we were faced with the prospect of losing the season.

With a plan for strict medical protocols agreed upon, the league and its players believe it is safe to resume.

Players will start arriving at the Disney complex in Orlando on July 7, will be tested daily once they get there, and could be away from their families for more than three months. Families aren’t expected to be permitted on-site at Disney until the start of the second round of the playoffs, set to begin in late August or early September.

For the 22 teams going to Disney--including the San Antonio Spurs, Houston Rockets and Dallas Mavericks--the setup of the eight-game slates will be largely the same — one back-to-back for each of the clubs, with all the games set to be played in a 16-day span ending August 14. The NBA will be using three arenas at Disney, and other than the two-game slate on the opening night there will be somewhere between four and seven games played each day.

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The Spurs will be without 7x All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge for the remainder of the season while he recovers from surgery on his right shoulder, which is a major blow to the Spurs’ postseason chances.

San Antonio has been to the playoffs in 22 consecutive seasons, matching the longest streak in NBA history. But the team will be among others — Portland, New Orleans and Sacramento — that are all separated by a half-game in the race for ninth place in the Western Conference and potentially a berth in a play-in series. The gap between those four teams is .010 percentage points.

Aldridge finished this season averaging 18.9 points and 7.4 rebounds per game, a top scorcer for San Antonio, other than DeMar DeRozan. The Spurs recently signed center veteran Tyler Zeller, who holds career averages of 7.0 points and 4.4 rebounds.

The Houston Rockets (40-23) currently sit at No. 6 in the Western Conference standings, with the Dallas Mavericks (40-27) right behind them at No. 7 and the San Antonio Spurs (27-36) are on the outer bubble at No. 12. To date, Dallas and Houston have full and healthy rosters.

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The Orlando "bubble" will include some very unusual elements, with games starting as early as 1 p.m. on weekdays, 12:30 p.m. on weekends and most nights seeing the slate end with 9 p.m. tip-offs — other than NBA Finals games, an absolute rarity for games being played on the East coast.

If a play-in tournament for the No. 8 seed in either conference is needed by the ninth-place team finishing within four games of the team in eighth, those games in a best-of-two series that the No. 9 team would need to sweep will begin on August 15.

The NBA playoffs will begin August 17, and the NBA Finals are set to begin September 30 with a possible Game 7 on October 13.


The Associated Press contributed to this story.