Jacari McRae | June 11th, 2020
After being put on hold due to the Covid-19 pandemic the NBA season is returning. The NBA plans to move forward with 22 teams for the season’s relaunch, with a target date of July 31. All teams will stay at the Walt Disney World resort hotels and play all of their games on campus.
The Miami Heat are one of the selected 22 teams after securing a playoff spot before the season was halted. Miami(41-24) owns the fourth-best record in the Eastern Conference standings. With the NBA adding eight games for seeding purposes, the Heat could be anywhere from third to sixth in the East standings once the playoffs start. Teams within six games of the final playoff spots will join them.
“I think our team is extremely motivated to get back at this,” Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra said, via the Miami Herald. “These have been extreme circumstances these last two months-plus. And our guys have done a really commendable job of staying physically fit. But it is a challenge when you don’t know whether we’re going to start back up or not, or you don’t necessarily know what date that it could be. Well, now, this gives us a little bit of specificity, and I think everybody is starting to get excited. And you’re able to wrap your mind around a concept of replaying.”
Given the unprecedented times, there have been ongoing debates about how this year’s NBA champion will be perceived. Will an asterisk be attached to the eventual champion or will they be respected like the previous title winners? Spoelstra believes the latter.
“You know, I’ve heard it probably like anybody else, ‘Well, does this mean the World Championship this year, there will be an asterisk next to it?’ Yeah, I think, if you can make it through all of this and be worthy of winning that championship and really earning it, this will be one that’ll probably be remembered more than any other. It has been that kind of year, this year.”
Asterisk or not, the NBA plans to move forward in crowning an NBA Champion for this year. Miami hopes to be the last team standing when that happens.
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Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images