Reading Time: 5 minutes read
For the world of sports, any championship is big business and when we talk about the NBA league, needless to say that any obstacle that prevents its normal development is directly transformed into million-dollar losses. That’s exactly what happened with the Coronavirus crisis, especially with its impact on sports and in the middle of all competitions.
The halt of a coronavirus pandemic appeared while the NBA league was entering its intense final stretch and this has been an economic disaster for the organization, players and business partners. Not to mention the loss of the excitement of the competition for all the fans.
But as confirmed, the 30th of July will mark the start of the rest of the season at Disney Orlando, and for many teams, this hiatus has been beneficial, especially those teams which had injured players.
We will now review the squads that will restart with more advantage and better position than they had before the halt:
At one point in the season the Sixers became the third best team in the Eastern Conference, but at the time of the suspension their two big stars, Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid were injured and out of action. This hurt the team badly, dropping them to the sixth place.
Currently, the Australian seems to be in full condition from his back injury and in a video uploaded by NBA players’ coach Chris Johnson, the point guard has shown that he is ready for the season to start and delighted us with a series of spectacular slam dunks. On the other hand, Joel Embiid is also ready to help the Sixers because before the suspension he had just returned from a complicated shoulder injury, but the two months of suspension and what he had already been resting have allowed him to fully recover. The Cameroonian declared that he had not started the season in the best way but from now on he has a lot to show to the world.
Having recovered their star duet, the 76ers are much better prepared than before the hiatus, so it is probably that the team will go up.
Portland Trail Blazers
They are currently in the ninth position of the competition. Although they were the only team to vote against the NBA’s restart plan for the competition, out of the 29 votes in favor, the format that has finally been approved does not disadvantage the Blazers over other formats that had been proposed. Playing the playoffs directly or only reaching 70 regular league games with the top eight finishers, directly left them with no real chance of making the title playoffs. However, with the new play-in formula, where eighth and ninth place playoffs are played out, this positively favors them, so the Blazers would be among the final 16 contenders for the ring. To do so, they need to finish in the ninth position and with less than four wins away from the Grizzlies, which is just how they are now. They are ninth and are 3.5 wins behind.
It has been a very difficult season for Terry Stotts’ team, but we have to say that this break has been key for his star center, Bosnian Jusuf Nurkic, whose debut in this season was agreed for March 15, to return and help improve the team. This, along with the return of Zach Collins after injuring his shoulder, another of the team’s top performers, leaves the Blazers as one of the best-placed for the eighth place… and maybe for something more.
Los Angeles Lakers
Anthony Davis had had recurring shoulder problems for a long time and by the end of February they had increased, so this break has gone very well for him to recover.
Also, King Lebron James will have taken the opportunity to rest and prepare much better for the final. LeBron can still crown a super season. He can save and restore the basketball season.
Finally, Javale McGee has recovered from pneumonia he will have to watch out for, due to the coronavirus. But he has declared he is ready and ‘comfortable’ with playing in Orlando, despite his asthma.
The current MVP, Giannis Antetokounmpo, hadn’t played in the last two games due to a sprained knee before the start of the pandemic, and the leading team had added two losses. Besides, they were starting to look tired, so it is sure that in these three months they have charged their batteries well and we will be ready to play and keep their first position, which they have done for most of the season.
The Tennessee team was in the last position that gave access to the playoffs. But in the last few games, players like Ja Morant were lowering his performance and the losses of Jaren Jackson Jr. and Brandon Clarke both suffering injuries were hurting the rotation of the team. Surely, these three months off have favored Morant, who is expected to be the Rookie of the year, and this will help positively to the Bears.
The Opening Games
The first games we will see on the season restart next 30th of July will be Jazz vs Pelicans from the East Conference and Clippers vs Lakers, from the West.
Utah Jazz will have Rudy Gobert back, who tested positive for the coronavirus on March 11, leading the NBA to suspend the championship. The New Orleans Pelicans will be back in action when they take on the Gobert Jazz.
The derby Clippers vs Lakers will offer us the glamour of watching two of the best teams in the competition playing against each other. The Lakers have almost assured the first place and the Clippers will be looking for distancing from Nuggets and stay in second place in the West conference. Amazing game guaranteed.
Who do you think will be the winner of this Angel´s derby?
The return from the competition will undoubtedly be a beacon of light for the country and apart from the fact that the teams and the organization can gradually recover economically, American society needs to be relieved of the pressures of the pandemic, the rising unemployment, and social injustices that are sweeping the country.