The NBA season is about to come back.
On Thursday, the league’s board of governors is expected to approve a proposal for a 22-team format to restart the season in late July at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, according to reports.
The format will consist of eight regular-season games per team, a possible play-in tournament for the eighth seed, and postseason play.
The participating teams will include the 16 currently in playoff spots along with the Eastern Conference’s Washington Wizards and Western Conference’s Portland Trail Blazers, New Orleans Pelicans, Sacramento Kings, San Antonio Spurs, and Phoenix Suns.
The six teams outside the top 16 are within six games of the eighth and final playoff spot in their respective conferences. The Orlando Magic (East) and Memphis Grizzlies (West) are currently the eighth seeds.
The eighth seed will earn the playoff spot by finishing more than four games ahead of the ninth seed after the regular season. But if the ninth seed finishes within four games, it will force a play-in tournament with the eighth seed. The tournament would be single-elimination for the ninth seed and double-elimination for the eighth seed.
Right now, the Magic (30-35) are 5½ games ahead of the Wizards (24-30). Things are tighter in the West, with the Grizzlies (32-33) being 3½ games in front of the Trail Blazers (29-37), Pelicans (28-36), and Kings (28-36). The Spurs (27-36) are four back and Suns (26-39) are six.
The 76ers (39-26) are sixth in the East.
Yahoo Sports reported the plan is for teams to continue their scheduled as planned. If the team is scheduled to play a team not resuming the season, it will just move onto the next scheduled game, according to the report.
Under this scenario, the Sixers will play the Indiana Pacers, Wizards, Toronto Raptors, Suns, Trail Blazers Houston Rockets, Wizards and Magic.
Play is expected to begin July 31 and conclude Oct. 12 if the NBA Finals goes to seven games.
The NBA shut down its season March 11 after Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19.
The time off has enabled to the Sixers to get healthy. The ballyhooed starting lineup of Tobias Harris, Al Horford, Joel Embiid, Josh Richardson, and Ben Simmons played together in just 19 of 65 games.
Embiid has been sidelined a total of 17 games because of injuries. He also served a two-game suspension for fighting Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns. Simmons missed the last eight games and 11 overall with injuries. Richardson missed 17 games. Horford missed three.
Horford was also demoted to the bench Feb. 11 because he wasn’t pairing well with Embiid and Simmons. He returned to the starting lineup three games later only because Simmons was sidelined with a pinched nerve in his lower back.