With the NBA All-Star break rapidly approaching, and so is the end of the first half of the 2020-21 schedule. On Wednesday, the league officially released the second half of the regular season schedule. Starting after the All-Star break, the schedule will run through May 16.
Previously, the league and its players had agreed to play a 72-game slate. Therefore the NBA only released the first half of the schedule, early December, in order to provide itself some flexibility for any games that had to be postponed because of teams dealing with various COVID-19 related issues. Around 29 games have been postponed.
The schedule is as follows:
- March 5 to March 10 ‘ NBA All-Star break
- March 10 to May 16 ‘ Second half of the regular season
- May 18 to May 21 ‘ Play-in tournament
- May 22 to July 22 ‘ Playoffs
In the second half, the San Antonio Spurs and Memphis Grizzlies have the most games to be played, with each having to cram 40 games into a 68-day stretch of the calendar. These two teams had their schedules hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic. Additionally, the Indiana Pacers, Chicago Bulls, Charlotte Hornets, Phoenix Suns and Portland Trail Blazers also have more than half of their 72-game schedules still to play after the All-Star break. The Houston Rockets and Dallas Mavericks are scheduled to play 38 games apiece in the second half. On the other hand are the Los Angeles Clippers, who will have just 34 games to be played in a 67-day period.
The play-in tournament scheduled from May 18 to 21 will feature the teams that finish from seventh through 10th in the Western and Eastern conferences playing for the final two playoff spots on each side of the bracket.
In the first games of the play-in tournament, the seventh seed will host the eighth seed in each conference, with the winner of each conference’s game receiving one playoff spot. Then, the losers of those first games will host either the ninth or 10th seed in their respective conference — depending which of the lowest seeds wins the games played between those two teams — for the second playoff spot.
The second half of the season will start with a pair of games on March 10: Wizards at Grizzlies (8 p.m. ET) and the Spurs at Mavericks (8:30 p.m. ET on NBA TV).