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Los Angeles, the epicenter of a unique 2020-21 NBA season

There will be no "bubble", the schedule will consist of 72 games and the current champion Lakers is the big favorite along with his neighbor Clippers .

LeBron James in a game with the Lakers

The NBA is already preparing the next campaign for 2021. / Photo: IG / lakers

LatinAmerican Post | Onofre Zambrano Moreno

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Leer en español: Los Ángeles, epicentro de una singular temporada 2020-21 de la NBA

From December 22 to May 22, 2021, exactly five months, the regular round of the next NBA campaign will be played, which will have its All Star Game in March and not in February, in addition to other details that will give it a character very unique to the upcoming campaign of the best basketball in the world, in which the two great candidates to win it are in Los Angeles: Lakers and Clippers.

The Board of Governors and the NBA Players Association, in addition to the organization's commissioner, Adam Silver, reached an agreement to start the 2020-2021 season with a reduced schedule of 72 games - 10 less than the traditional format - and They also set up a salary guarantee deposit for players in the 18% range for the next two years, according to ESPN.

The players were mainly responsible for proceeding urgently to start the 2020-21 edition as soon as possible, including the Draft that takes place on November 18. Thus, since December 1, the teams train for the following season and the league reopened with a moratorium the possibility of making exchanges before the draft.

 

 

Why on December 22?

The league took this date seriously thinking of being able to finish the season before the celebration of the Olympic Games and with it, have a better chance of putting together a good team for that appointment. The unique format for this season is composed of 72 matches for each club, including the traditional Christmas day on television.

The NBA and the NBPA (Union) have discussed significant increases in player salary guarantees to compensate for the league's lost revenue due to COVID-19. The objective is that the players do not suffer such an overwhelming economic impact in just one year, this because the pandemic triggered a force majeure clause in the collective agreement.

Regarding the All-Star Game "All Star Game", it is planned that it will take place between March 5 and 10, just one month away from its usual appointment in February. On May 20 the regular season would end.

On May 22 the first round of the playoffs would begin and then on June 7 the conference semifinals would be held. Finally, on June 22, the Conference finals would begin while the series for the league title is scheduled to take place between July 8 and 22.

Also read: This is how the NBA stars did in the draft

 

No audience?

Everything indicates that the next campaign will not be in a bubble like the one that ended in October, but that the normality of each club will be fulfilled, having its stage to play half the games there and the rest of the visitor. Of course, that is subject to change, depending on how the coronavirus grows or declines.

In that sense, there is also a dependency on most NBA cities, which still cannot hold public meetings with more than 500 people. Therefore, the season will start without a bubble, but without fans in the arenas.

 

Los Angeles, the very favorites

The 2019-2020 season ended in a bubble in Florida culminated with the 17th Los Angeles Lakers title, a team that is starting again according to the bookmakers as the main candidate, in this case to endorse the title.

In fact, December 21 will be the last day for teams to sign super contract extensions and rookie contract extensions. An issue such as that of the Greek pivot Giannis Antetokounmpo, who until that day will have the possibility of signing with another club or renewing with the Bucks.

The Marca newspaper states that LeBron James' purple and gold team is the favorite to be crowned for the second year in a row with a 4/1 margin, followed by their city rivals Clippers with 5/1. Golden State Warriors and Milwaukee Bucks are tied for third at 9/1. This projection, which is very similar to that published by ESPN a few weeks ago, clearly shows that the Western Conference is once again the great favorite by placing three of the first four among the candidates.

Lakers is based on the one who for many is the best basketball player of today, or at least the most influential as is LeBron James, who formed an extraordinary duo with Anthony Davis. It will not be easy to dethrone them, but it is also true that they need to strengthen themselves even more to be able to repeat. Clippers, will play it with his new coach Tyron Lue who will have to take better advantage of the duo that make up Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.

 

Golden State, despite being the second worst record in the league last season, is considered a strong rival because specialists assure that what happened in 19-20 was an accident combined with a bit of bad luck due to the injury of its two main figures. But pay attention! They will again have MVP Stephen Curry and All-Star Klay Thompson from day one, plus Draymond Green, Andre Wiggins and the second selection of the 2020 Draft.

The Bucks are the main contenders in the East but they must build a candidate team with at least one heavyweight player to accompany Antetokounmpo. If the Greek ends up leaving, Milwaukee loses a lot and would cease to be the great candidate to improve the options of the Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets or the current runner-up Miami Heat.

Then, in order of favorites to complete the list of top ten Toronto Raptors with numbers of 16/1, Denver Nuggets 20/1 and Houston Rockets 22/1 although in the latter case, it will depend on the continuity or not of James Harden.

Also read: Juan Toscano's leadership in the NBA and in politics
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