MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The Memphis Grizzlies are ready to go as the NBA’s return appears to be a formality. All that’s left is for the players to make it official Friday after the owners, in a 29-1 vote, approved bringing 22 teams to Orlando to resume the season July 31.
International players are to return by June 15, all others June 21.
Training camps begin in the team’s home cities on June 30.
An 8-game sprint to the finish starts July 30 at Disney’s Wide World of Sports.
The Grizzlies will have to come in at least 4.5 games up on the next closest team to jump straight to the postseason, otherwise, they’ll have to do a best of three play-in to decide.
Grizzlies Team President Jason Wexler is OK with the format.
“Yeah, the NBA had soo many things it had to factor in determining how to return to play, that, ultimately, we’re good with the plan they came up with.” Says Wexler. “It factors in what we accomplished in the first 80%, or so, of the season. And knowing that they had a lot to balance, we’re OK with that. ‘Do you think having a 3.5 game lead you maybe should have gotten a little bit more consideration?’ So, given that the structure does acknowledge the lead that we had, and acknowledges the work we did to get there. We feel like, just line up what comes next, we’ll knock it down.”
Reports are, the eight games the Grizzlies would play mirror what they would’ve faced when the pandemic shut everything down March 11: Portland, Utah, San Antonio, Oklahoma City, Milwaukee, New Orleans Twice, and Boston.
Tough games, yes, but Wexler says it doesn’t dampen the franchise enthusiasm for getting back to work.
“Ahh, it’s just really, really good to have a basketball game on the calendar,” Wexler said. “We haven’t had a game scheduled since the league went on hiatus. So, to know that July 31 we’re back to playing basketball is a terrific deal.”
The Playoffs would be Best of seven with the NBA Finals decided by Oct. 12. The Lottery is set for Aug. 25, with the Draft held Oct. 15.
Free Agency would begin October 18.