New York, United States | AFP | Wednesday 2/25/2021 | Photo by Ramiro Pianarosa/Unsplash
The NBA released its schedule for the second half of the regular season on Wednesday, a jam-packed program designed to have all 30 teams complete 72 games despite coronavirus disruptions.
When the 2020-21 campaign got underway in December, the NBA divided the season into two segments to allow flexibility in the face of the ongoing pandemic.
With 29 games postponed so far, the handful of teams most affected face a tough race to the finish when the second half of the season begins after the Mar. 5-10 All-Star Break. Those teams include the four in action on Mar. 10: the Washington Wizards, Memphis Grizzlies, San Antonio Spurs and Dallas Mavericks.
The second-half schedule concludes on May 16, to be followed by a play-in tournament from May 18 to 21. That will feature four teams in each conference battling for the final two playoff spots in the East and West. The playoffs proper begin on May 22 with the championship series set to end before the Tokyo Olympics open on July 23.
Among the notable fixtures in the second half of the season, the Los Angeles Clippers host the reigning champion Lakers at Staples Center on Apr. 4. LeBron James and the Lakers take on Kevin Durant and the Nets in Brooklyn on Apr. 10.
As in the first half of the season, the NBA will minimize travel by scheduling teams to play two road games in the same city.
The Utah Jazz, currently leading the league, are slated to host the Lakers on Apr. 17 and 19 in Salt Lake City.
© Agence France-Presse