We have no idea what the NBA will look like when it eventually returns, but there’s talk that including the Pelicans and Zion Williamson is a must. ESPN’s Brian Windhorst was on Friday morning’s ‘Get Up’ to talk about the NBA’s return:
"One of the things I've been hearing as I talk to people in the league is [the idea that] the league is going to set up this playoff plan to make sure Zion Williamson is involved."
— Get Up (@GetUpESPN) May 29, 2020
“So One of the things I’ve been hearing, I’ve talked to people in the league, is the league is going to set up this playoff plan to make sure Zion Williamson is involved. Now, I have to tell you, Greeny, paranoia is top of the list with anything in the NBA. This is the course of my 18 years covering the league, there always paranoid about everything. The league is screwing me, and they are helping that guy. In this case, there’s a number of different reasons why the league would want to have 20 or 24 teams, a number of different reasons to get extra games, but most of those scenarios include having Zion Williamson in the postseason.”
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At 28-36, the Pelicans are tied for the 10th seed with the Sacramento Kings in the Western Conference. It’s hardly a surprise in a star-driven league such as the NBA that including Zion Williamson in any playoff scenario is preferred. However, it is surprising that the NBA would actually alter the playoff format just so a single player is included. Zion would of course be great to see in the playoffs, but you would think the buzz surrounding an Orlando NBA return in late July/early August would be so great that Zion’s presence wouldn’t have a tremendous impact on whether fans tune in.
Of course, this is uncharted territory so the NBA basically has a blank slate to work with. The most basic format seems to be a simple 16-team playoff as would be standard at the end of NBA season with the current seeds one through eight. If you start going beyond that, then you are going to have to have some play-in games.
That could mean that the Knicks make the playoffs. 2020 is officially out of control.
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