This is the 14th edition of the weekly 76ers mailbag.
Submit question(s) for next time by following me on Twitter @PompeyOnSixers and tweeting your inquiry with the hashtag #PompeysMailbagFlow.
Let’s jump right into this week’s questions:
Answer: Thanks for asking a question, Zack. I want to especially thank you for getting this newsletter started by getting straight to the point.
My answer is yes. There was a time when I was leaning toward saying no. However, I believe the NBA will do everything in its power to resume this season. Several states are starting to loosen their stay-at-home order a little, which also helps.
The expectation is that the NBA might not resume until July. If it does resume, it is expected to be without fans, perhaps at an isolated site. So the main thing is making sure that the proper steps are taken to isolate and frequently test the players, coaches, staff members and others on hand.
Plus, the NBA’s strict guidelines to return could loosen in a month. Some of that has to do with the positive results from the drug remdesivir. Some patients using the drug recover faster from coronavirus, according to a government-funded study announced Wednesday.
That’s why I believe the NBA will resume play this summer.
A: Thanks for the great question, Tom. As hard as it is, the Sixers have to continue to go about things as if this season will resume. Their situation is completely different than the Golden State Warriors, who have the league’s worst record of 15-50 and were 17 games away from starting their offseason. They have no incentive to resume the season. The Sixers are in a different situation. They have the sixth-best record in the Eastern Conference at 39-26 and are on pace to face the Boston Celtics in the opening round of the playoffs.
In regard to your tickets, I’m assuming the fans will be contacted by the teams once the league makes an official decision on the status of the remainder of the season.
A: Thanks for asking the question, Sheila. Is it OK if I just refer to you as Doc? Well Doc, I initially thought Las Vegas would be a better setup because the teams and the league go there every July for the NBA Summer League.
But the more I think about it, Disney might be the best place for it because it is private property. It could create the best bubble-like atmosphere and close off streets and deny access to the general public. In Vegas, they may be able to restrict access to the arenas and hotels, but they would have a tough time doing so in the surrounding public areas.
So when you think about it, going to Disney would allow the teams and their families to live on the property until the season is concluded.
It’s not surprising that the league is considering this. But the more I think about it, Disney might be the best solution.
Atlantic City, Orlando, Hawaii, Louisville, and Las Vegas were all mentioned in March as possible locations for a 16-team playoff tournament, minus fans. The Bahamas have been mentioned as another potential site. Those locations would be expected to be a bubble-like atmosphere, where players would be in isolation.
My initial thought when folks talked about Orlando was having games at the Amway Center and the Amway Center practice court. But Disney World, which is located in nearby Lake Buena Vista, Fla., would be a safer option.
A: What’s up, G. Thanks for the question. But I don’t see this happening. First of all, the Wells Fargo Center isn’t the Sixers’ facility. Teams in states that loosen up restrictions are only allowed to practice at their own practice facilities. Even if the NBA permitted it, the Sixers would have to get permission from the Flyers to hold practices there. The center’s employees would have to set up basketball courts, etc., and make sure the place is quarantined for them to work and for the players to work out. It would just be too much involved at this time.
Even if that happened, practicing there wouldn’t make a lot of sense, considering all the precautions one has to take for the limited amount of things players can do at this time.
No more than four players will be permitted at a facility at any time, and head and assistant coaches are prohibited from participating. The same holds for group practices and scrimmages.