The NBA Board of Governors has voted in favour for the 2019/20 season to be completed, despite the on-going global pandemic that bought most sports around the globe to a standstill.
With a final decision of 29-1 votes, the NBA has confirmed that the league will return to action on July 31st, with the latest possible date for a potential game seven on October 12.
Along with the highly anticipated announcement, the NBA also confirmed the dates for the much-awaited draft lottery and the draft itself. ESPN reported that the NBA Draft Lottery will be held on August 25, with the draft being scheduled to take place on October 15.
The remainder of the season has been altered to ensure a speedy yet safe finale, which will be held at Disney World in Orlando.
There is no doubt the resort will become the happiest place on Earth for basketball fans around the world as they will be able to watch the season come to its conclusion.
Disney World will only see 22 out of the 30 teams playing in the NBA arrive as the format of how the regular season was supposed to end has been changed.
The Eastern and the Western conference will each see the eight teams occupying the playoff positions attend the event. They will be joined by a total of six teams who have a chance of playing in the post-season.
Each franchise will play an eight-game regular season before the play-offs swing into action. There is also the possibility of a play-in tournament if the eighth and ninth-seeded teams are within four games of each other.
It is set to be a thrilling end to the season as with only three playoff berths up for grabs, two in the East and one in the West, all teams that are not guaranteed to play in the post-season will be battling with everything they have to grab a valuable play-off spot.
The decision to drastically reduce the games that each team has left in the season means that some have seen their 2019/20 campaign come to an abrupt end, meaning the next time we’ll see them on the court will be in the 2020/21 season.
In the Eastern Conference, six teams will be absent from the return, Charlotte Hornets, Chicago Bulls, New York Knicks, Detroit Pistons, Atlanta Hawks and Cleveland Cavaliers are those who miss the threshold.
This leaves the two playoff spots currently occupied by Brooklyn Nets and Orlando Magic up for grabs, with Orlando Magic close behind.
The Western Conference will leave behind the Minnesota Timberwolves and Golden State Warriors, and with the Dallas Mavericks, all but confirming their play-off position means that the remaining six sides will fight for the final playoff spot currently being held by Memphis Grizzlies.
With the NBA return scheduled it has had a varied effect on many franchises and players across the league and one of the teams who will not be sad to wave goodbye to the current campaign is the Golden State Warriors.
A season plagued with injuries and misfortune see’s them end with the worst record in the league, but it means that Warriors fans can look forward to not only the splash brothers being back on the court together but with equal odds for the No.1 draft pick, they could see more talent arriving.
Another way in which the return can be seen as a huge positive is the chance of seeing more promising rookie Zion Williamson who, due to injury, did not make enough appearances as everyone wanted.
The New Orleans Pelicans who are lucky enough to have the youngster will be relishing the chance for him to help them in a last push for a play-off position.
NBA’s return also means that teams and players will experience a negative effect for a whole range of reasons.
One franchise that might have mixed emotions about the intense return is the Los Angeles Clippers as their long-term plan to get ready for the playoffs may now have to be rushed.
Their star-studded roster with the likes of last year's finals MVP Kawai Leonard and Paul George has been rotated when necessary so that they are as fresh as possible, come the natural end of the season.
Now the chemistry building element which is key to a successful NBA side will have to develop quicker than they would have expected. Nevertheless, they will be up for the challenge of pushing for what would be the franchises first-ever championship.
This article was written exclusively for golear.co.uk.