The NBA is considering different schedules and game systems for the return of the competition. One of the most innovative would satisfy many teams that are currently with the fly behind their ears: those who are out of the playoffs but fighting for them and those who have no chance of playing them.
Thus, according to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer, the league would be considering returning with a group system: 4 groups of 5 teams. This would leave 10 teams out of the competition, who on the other hand are not interested in returning to play inconsequential games in these circumstances. This is how the journalist explains it:
“The 16 teams currently in the playoffs plus the next four with the best records (Blazers, Pelicans, Kings and Spurs) would play the group stage. The next 10 would have ended their seasons. These groups would be created taking into account the classification current to ensure balance between groups.
The groups could then be selected at random, with one team from each level going to each group. The NBA is working on approaches to evenly balance groups, such as limiting each group to just three Western Conference teams, according to multiple sources from the main office. The draws for the group stage could be televised, league sources say.
As an alternative to random group selection, various league sources say the league has considered allowing Tier 1 teams – the Bucks, Lakers, Raptors, Clippers – to recruit their own groups. The teams would play against opponents within their own groups twice, which means that each team would play eight games. The two teams in each group with the best record would go on. “
Taking into account the current classification of the league, the 4 drums to make the draw for the groups would be as follows:
Pot 1: Bucks, Lakers, Raptors, Clippers
Kick 2: Celtics, Nuggets, Jazz, Heat
Kick 3: Thunder, Rockets, Pacers, 76ers
Kick 4: Mavericks, Grizzlies, Nets, Magic Tier 5: Trail Blazers, Pelicans, Kings, Spurs