Fun Fact: If you stand in the rain no one can tell you’re crying.
• Us: *gulp* We really doing this? NBA: *puts on sunglasses* Oh, we’re doing this. Earlier this morning the NBA and NBPA officially announced a July 30th return to play at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida. While we’ve known about the plan for several weeks now, the league had been fine-tuning the logistics. Players and league officials worked together to create a comprehensive plan for the 2019-20 restart. To learn more about what that entails, check out our post from earlier today.
• Arguably the most exciting news to come from the NBA’s press release is the fact that we’ll get a complete game schedule TONIGHT. Yup, we might still have to wait over a month for games, but at least we’ll have some matchups to get mega-hyped about! Each of the 22 teams will play a total of eight regular-season games to get back in the swing of things. And I’m sure like a typical end to the regular season, some of the teams comfortably at the top of the standings (the Lakers, Bucks, Clippers, etc.) will come out of the gate with a more cautious approach. I’m curious to see how involved big-names like LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo will be right off the bat. Chances are they’ll both be eager to play after such a long hiatus, but it’ll likely be in the team’s best interest to watch their minutes closely.
• In a lot of ways, this is why the immediate return may not be as great as we’ve made it out to be in our own heads. Let’s say we get a Lakers-Clippers matchup on opening night, do you really think it’ll be as exciting as it would’ve been back in March? A long break combined with an unprecedented environment and the normal before-playoff precautions could mean some very odd basketball from the get-go. Just be prepared.
• While the league is pushing full steam ahead, we shouldn’t hold our breaths. I want basketball back as much as the next guy, but I continue to remind myself of the current situation we’re in. COVID-19 is still spreading rapidly around the United States, and specifically in the Orange County area where the bubble is set to take place. Players might be safer than others in this environment, but let’s not forget about the string of workers who are supposed to be coming in and out of facilities on the daily. Overall, there is still plenty of room for concern, and we all need to be prepared for a stoppage or delay at any time.
• Meanwhile, the league conducted their first round of testing this week and had 16 positive tests. As NBC Sports Chicago points out, this number seems to be comparable to other sports like the NHL and Premier League.
16 NBA Players (Out of 302) Test Positive for COVID-19https://t.co/BwlEz96MX0
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) June 26, 2020
• Agreed … kinda.
This has been my take as well. I expect to see a lot of roster change, but no point in selling low just to make a move. They'll have to put together a longer term plan but acting now doesn't make any sense. Patience https://t.co/yhaPRu8kwD
— Will Gottlieb (@wontgottlieb) June 25, 2020
• Arturas Karnisovas shouldn’t look to make any big splash this offseason because, well, I don’t think it’s possible. Not only is everyone around the league going to be hesitant to make any major moves, but I don’t think these Bulls players are grabbing too many eyes around the NBA. At the same time, I also believe Karnisovas and Marc Eversley want to feel out this roster. With so much young talent, they probably feel like they’re in a good place moving forward. Fix the infrastructure, run with this roster, and see who’s worth keeping around. Works for me.
• With that said, I wouldn’t mind seeing the Bulls trade their draft pick (depending on where they land). After all, Karnisovas needs to pay us back for taking advantage of GarPax in 2014. He helped Denver orchestrate the trade that cost the No. 16 and No. 19 pick for Dougie Buckets (*shivers*).
• Question: What NBA moments went viral before the internet? Answer: Basically everything Michael Jordan did.
• LOL READ THIS …
OK, I’ll say it: the 2019-20 NBA championship deserves an asterisk.
The eventual champ will join a select group of titles in NBA history that were won through lucky/unfair circumstances.
My list of the all-time Asterisk Titles: https://t.co/WYEAPSQswX
— Tom Haberstroh (@tomhaberstroh) June 26, 2020
• A player and his coach.