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NBA 2020 Schedule and Bubble Teams

After the NBA shutdown the regular season on March 11 due to the positive COVID-19 test from Jazz center Rudy Gobert, the return plan was a hot topic amongst the league. Now, after careful planning and approval of health protocols, the NBA will return to game action on July 30, 2020 in Orlando, Florida. With the NBA coming back, the following teams will be participating because they were in a playoff spot when the season was paused or were in striking distance of the eight seed.

Eastern Conference Bubble Teams

  • Milwaukee Bucks
  • Toronto Raptors
  • Boston Celtics
  • Miami Heat
  • Indiana Pacers
  • Philadelphia 76ers
  • Brooklyn Nets
  • Orlando Magic
  • Washington Wizards

Western Conference Bubble Teams

  • Los Angeles Lakers
  • Los Angeles Clippers
  • Denver Nuggets
  • Utah Jazz
  • Oklahoma City Thunder
  • Houston Rockets
  • Dallas Mavericks
  • Memphis Grizzlies
  • Portland Trail Blazers
  • New Orleans Pelicans
  • Sacramento Kings
  • San Antonio Spurs
  • Phoenix Suns

These teams are expected to arrive in Orlando between July 7-11. Once they’ve arrived, they’ll be placed in a “bubble” at Disney World Resorts. Teams and staff members will reside at three separate locations as follows:

  • Gran Destino: Bucks, Lakers, Raptors, Clippers, Celtics, Nuggets, Jazz Heat
  • Grand Floridian: Thunder, 76ers, Rockets, Pacers, Mavericks, Nets, Grizzlies, Magic
  • Yacht Club: Blazers, Kings, Pelicans, Spurs, Suns Wizards

Practices and group workouts will begin on July 9th and conclude on the 29th. After that, the NBA return will officially begin on July 30th, which would mark a 140 day layoff between regular season games.

Once the regular season concludes, playoffs will begin on August 17 and could expand as long as October 14, 2020 if the Finals were to reach a Game 7.

 

Schedule for each NBA bubble team:

Boston Celtics

  • vs. Milwaukee Bucks on Friday, July 31 (6:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)
  • vs. Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday, August 2 (3:30 p.m. ET, ABC)
  • vs. Miami Heat on Tuesday, August 4 (6:30 p.m. ET, TNT)
  • vs. Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday, August 5 (9:00 p.m. ET, ESPN)
  • vs. Toronto Raptors on Friday, August 7 (9:00 p.m. ET, TNT)
  • vs. Orlando Magic on Sunday, August 9 (5:00 p.m. ET)
  • vs. Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday, August 11 (6:30 p.m. ET, TNT)
  • vs. Washington Wizards on Thursday, August 13 (TBD, TBD)

Brooklyn Nets

  • vs. Orlando Magic on Friday, July 31 (2:30 p.m. ET)
  • vs. Washington Wizards on Sunday, August 2 (2:00 p.m. ET)
  • vs. Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday, August 4 (1:30 p.m. ET, NBA TV)
  • vs. Boston Celtics on Wednesday, August 5 (9:00 p.m. ET, ESPN)
  • vs. Sacramento Kings on Friday, August 7 (5:00 p.m. ET)
  • vs. LA Clippers on Sunday, August 9 (9:00 p.m. ET, NBA TV)
  • vs. Orlando Magic on Tuesday, August 11 (1:00 p.m. ET)
  • vs. Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday, August 13 (TBD, TBD)

Dallas Mavericks

  • vs. Houston Rockets on Friday, July 31 (9:00 p.m. ET, ESPN)
  • vs. Phoenix Suns on Sunday, August 2 (9:00 p.m. ET)
  • vs. Sacramento Kings on Tuesday, August 4 (2:30 p.m. ET)
  • vs. LA Clippers on Thursday, August 6 (6:30 p.m. ET, TNT)
  • vs. Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday, August 8 (8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)
  • vs. Utah Jazz on Monday, August 10 (3:00 p.m. ET, NBA TV)
  • vs. Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday, August 11 (5:00 p.m. ET)
  • vs. Phoenix Suns on Thursday, August 13 (TBD, TBD)

Denver Nuggets

  • vs. Miami Heat on Saturday, August 1 (1:00 p.m. ET, ESPN)
  • vs. Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday, August 3 (4:00 p.m. ET, NBA TV)
  • vs. San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday, August 5 (4:00 p.m. ET)
  • vs. Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday, August 6 (8:00 p.m. ET)
  • vs. Utah Jazz on Saturday, August 8 (3:30 p.m. ET, TNT)
  • vs. Los Angeles Lakers on Monday, August 10 (9:00 p.m. ET, TNT)
  • vs. LA Clippers on Wednesday, August 12 (9:00 p.m. ET, ESPN)
  • vs. Toronto Raptors on Friday, August 14 (TBD, TBD)

Houston Rockets

  • vs. Dallas Mavericks on Friday, July 31 (9:00 p.m. ET, ESPN)
  • vs. Milwaukee Bucks on Sunday, August 2 (8:30 p.m. ET, ABC)
  • vs. Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday, August 4 (9:00 p.m. ET, TNT)
  • vs. Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday, August 6 (9:00 p.m. ET, TNT)
  • vs. Sacramento Kings on Sunday, August 9 (8:00 p.m. ET)
  • vs. San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday, August 11 (2:00 p.m. ET, NBA TV)
  • vs. Indiana Pacers on Wednesday, August 12 (4:00 p.m. ET, NBA TV)
  • vs. Philadelphia 76ers on Friday, August 14 (TBD, TBD)

Indiana Pacers

  • vs. Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday, August 1 (7:00 p.m. ET)
  • vs. Washington Wizards on Monday, August 3 (4:00 p.m. ET)
  • vs. Orlando Magic on Tuesday, August 4 (6:00 p.m. ET)
  • vs. Phoenix Suns on Thursday, August 6 (4:00 p.m. ET)
  • vs. Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday, August 8 (6:00 p.m. ET, TNT)
  • vs. Miami Heat on Monday, August 10 (8:00 p.m. ET)
  • vs. Houston Rockets on Wednesday, August 12 (4:00 p.m. ET, NBA TV)
  • vs. Miami Heat on Friday, August 14 (TBD, TBD)

LA Clippers

  • vs. Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday, July 30 (9:00 p.m. ET, TNT)
  • vs. New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday, August 1 (6:00 p.m. ET, ESPN)
  • vs. Phoenix Suns on Tuesday, August 4 (4:00 p.m. ET, NBA TV)
  • vs. Dallas Mavericks on Thursday, August 6 (6:30 ET, TNT)
  • vs. Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday, August 8 (1:00 p.m. ET, TNT)
  • vs. Brooklyn Nets on Sunday, August 9 (9:00 p.m. ET, NBA TV)
  • vs. Denver Nuggets on Wednesday, August 12 (9:00 p.m. ET, ESPN)
  • vs. Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday, August 14 (TBD, TBD)

Los Angeles Lakers

  • vs. LA Clippers on Thursday, July 30 (9:00 p.m. ET, TNT)
  • vs. Toronto Raptors on Saturday, August 1 (8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)
  • vs. Utah Jazz on Monday, August 3 (9:00 p.m. ET, ESPN)
  • vs. Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday, August 5 (6:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)
  • vs. Houston Rockets on Thursday, August 6 (9:00 p.m. ET, TNT)
  • vs. Indiana Pacers on Saturday, August 8 (6:00 p.m. ET, TNT)
  • vs. Denver Nuggets on Monday, August 10 (9:00 p.m. ET, TNT)
  • vs. Sacramento Kings on Thursday, August 13 (TBD, TBD)

Memphis Grizzlies

  • vs. Portland Trail Blazers on Friday, July 31 (4:00 p.m. ET, NBA TV)
  • vs. San Antonio Spurs on Sunday, August 2 (4:00 p.m. ET)
  • vs. New Orleans Pelicans on Monday, August 3 (6:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)
  • vs. Utah Jazz on Wednesday, August 5 (2:30 p.m. ET)
  • vs. Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday, August 7 (4:00 p.m. ET, NBA TV)
  • vs. Toronto Raptors on Sunday, August 9 (2:00 p.m. ET)
  • vs. Boston Celtics on Tuesday, August 11 (6:30 p.m. ET, TNT)
  • vs. Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday, August 13 (TBD, TBD)

Miami Heat

  • vs. Denver Nuggets on Saturday, August 1 (1:00 p.m. ET, ESPN)
  • vs. Toronto Raptors on Monday, August 3 (1:30 p.m. ET, NBA TV)
  • vs. Boston Celtics on Tuesday, August 4 (6:30 p.m. ET, TNT)
  • vs. Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday, August 6 (4:00 p.m. ET, TNT)
  • vs. Phoenix Suns on Saturday, August 8 (7:30 p.m. ET)
  • vs. Indiana Pacers on Monday, August 10 (8:00 p.m. ET)
  • vs. Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday, August 12 (8:00 p.m. ET)
  • vs. Indiana Pacers on Friday, August 14 (TBD, TBD)

Milwaukee Bucks

  • vs. Boston Celtics on Friday, July 31 (6:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)
  • vs. Houston Rockets on Sunday, August 2 (8:30 p.m. ET, ABC)
  • vs. Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday, August 4 (1:30 p.m. ET, NBA TV)
  • vs. Miami Heat on Thursday, August 6 (4:00 p.m. ET, TNT)
  • vs. Dallas Mavericks on Saturday, August 8 (8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)
  • vs. Toronto Raptors on Monday, August 10 (6:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)
  • vs. Washington Wizards on Tuesday, August 11 (9:00 p.m. ET)
  • vs. Memphis Grizzlies on Thursday, August 13 (TBD, TBD)

New Orleans Pelicans

  • vs. Utah Jazz on Thursday, July 30 (6:30 p.m. ET, TNT)
  • vs. LA Clippers on Saturday, August 1 (6:00 p.m. ET, ESPN)
  • vs. Memphis Grizzlies on Monday, August 3 (6:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)
  • vs. Sacramento Kings on Thursday, August 6 (1:30 p.m. ET, NBA TV)
  • vs. Washington Wizards on Friday, August 7 (8:00 p.m. ET)
  • vs. San Antonio Spurs on Sunday, August 9 (3:00 p.m. ET, ABC)
  • vs. Sacramento Kings on Tuesday, August 11 (9:00 p.m. ET, TNT)
  • vs. Orlando Magic on Thursday, August 13 (TBD, TBD)

Oklahoma City Thunder

  • vs. Utah Jazz on Saturday, August 1 (3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)
  • vs. Denver Nuggets on Monday, August 3 (4:00 p.m. ET, NBA TV)
  • vs. Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday, August 5 (6:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)
  • vs. Memphis Grizzlies on Friday, August 7 (4:00 p.m. ET, NBA TV)
  • vs. Washington Wizards on Sunday, August 9 (12:30 p.m. ET)
  • vs. Phoenix Suns on Monday, August 10 (2:30 p.m. ET)
  • vs. Miami Heat on Wednesday, August 12 (8:00 p.m. ET)
  • vs. LA Clippers on Friday, August 14 (TBD, TBD)

Orlando Magic

  • vs. Brooklyn Nets on Friday, July 31 (2:30 p.m. ET)
  • vs. Sacramento Kings on Sunday, August 2 (6:00 p.m. ET)
  • vs. Indiana Pacers on Tuesday, August 4 (6:00 p.m. ET)
  • vs. Toronto Raptors on Wednesday, August 5 (8:00 p.m. ET)
  • vs. Philadelphia 76ers on Friday, August 7 (6:30 p.m. ET, TNT)
  • vs. Boston Celtics on Sunday, August 9 (5:00 p.m. ET)
  • vs. Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday, August 11 (1:00 p.m. ET)
  • vs. New Orleans Pelicans on Thursday, August 13 (TBD, TBD)

Philadelphia 76ers

  • vs. Indiana Pacers on Saturday, August 1 (7:00 p.m. ET)
  • vs. San Antonio Spurs on Monday, August 3 (8:00 p.m. ET)
  • vs. Washington Wizards on Wednesday, August 5 (4:00 p.m. ET, NBA TV)
  • vs. Orlando Magic on Friday, August 7 (6:30 p.m. ET, TNT)
  • vs. Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday, August 9 (6:30 p.m. ET, NBA TV)
  • vs. Phoenix Suns on Tuesday, August 11 (4:30 p.m. ET)
  • vs. Toronto Raptors on Wednesday, August 12 (6:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)
  • vs. Houston Rockets on Friday, August 14 (TBD, TBD)

Phoenix Suns

  • vs. Washington Wizards on Friday, July 31 (4:00 p.m. ET)
  • vs. Dallas Mavericks on Sunday, August 2 (9:00 p.m. ET)
  • vs. LA Clippers on Tuesday, August 4 (4:00 p.m. ET, NBA TV)
  • vs. Indiana Pacers on Thursday, August 6 (4:00 p.m. ET)
  • vs. Miami Heat on Saturday, August 8 (7:30 p.m. ET)
  • vs. Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday, August 10 (2:30 p.m. ET)
  • vs. Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday, August 11 (4:30 p.m. ET)
  • vs. Dallas Mavericks on Thursday, August 13 (TBD, TBD)

Portland Trail Blazers

  • vs. Memphis Grizzlies on Friday, July 31 (4:00 p.m. ET, NBA TV)
  • vs. Boston Celtics on Sunday, August 2 (3:30 p.m. ET, ABC)
  • vs. Houston Rockets on Tuesday, August 4 (9:00 p.m. ET, TNT)
  • vs. Denver Nuggets on Thursday, August 6 (8:00 p.m. ET)
  • vs. LA Clippers on Saturday, August 8 (1:00 p.m. ET, TNT)
  • vs. Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday, August 9 (6:30 p.m. ET, NBA TV)
  • vs. Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday, August 11 (5:00 p.m. ET)
  • vs. Brooklyn Nets on Thursday, August 13 (TBD, TBD)

Sacramento Kings

  • vs. San Antonio Spurs on Friday, July 31 (8:00 p.m. ET)
  • vs. Orlando Magic on Sunday, August 2 (6:00 p.m. ET)
  • vs. Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday, August 4 (2:30 p.m. ET)
  • vs. New Orleans Pelicans on Thursday, August 6 (1:30 p.m. ET, NBA TV)
  • vs. Brooklyn Nets on Friday, August 7 (5:00 p.m. ET)
  • vs. Houston Rockets on Sunday, August 9 (8:00 p.m. ET)
  • vs. New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday, August 11 (9:00 p.m. ET, TNT)
  • vs. Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday, August 13 (TBD, TBD)

San Antonio Spurs

  • vs. Sacramento Kings on Friday, July 31 (8:00 p.m. ET)
  • vs. Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday, August 2 (4:00 p.m. ET)
  • vs. Philadelphia 76ers on Monday, August 3 (8:00 p.m. ET)
  • vs. Denver Nuggets on Wednesday, August 5 (4:00 p.m. ET)
  • vs. Utah Jazz on Friday, August 7 (1:00 p.m. ET)
  • vs. New Orleans Pelicans on Sunday, August 9 (3:00 p.m. ET, ABC)
  • vs. Houston Rockets on Tuesday, August 11 (2:00 p.m. ET, NBA TV)
  • vs. Utah Jazz on Thursday, August 13 (TBD, TBD)

Toronto Raptors

  • vs. Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday, August 1 (8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)
  • vs. Miami Heat on Monday, August 3 (1:30 p.m. ET, NBA TV)
  • vs. Orlando Magic on Wednesday, August 5 (8:00 p.m. ET)
  • vs. Boston Celtics on Friday, August 7 (9:00 p.m. ET, TNT)
  • vs. Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday, August 9 (2:00 p.m. ET)
  • vs. Milwaukee Bucks on Monday, August 10 (6:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)
  • vs. Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday, August 12 (6:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)
  • vs. Denver Nuggets on Friday, August 14 (TBD, TBD)

Utah Jazz

  • vs. New Orleans Pelicans on Thursday, July 30 (6:30 ET, TNT)
  • vs. Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday, August 1 (3:30 ET, ESPN)
  • vs. Los Angeles Lakers on Monday, August 3 (9:00 p.m. ET, ESPN)
  • vs. Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday, August 5 (2:30 p.m. ET)
  • vs. San Antonio Spurs on Friday, August 7 (1:00 p.m. ET)
  • vs. Denver Nuggets on Saturday, August 8 (3:30 p.m. ET, TNT)
  • vs. Dallas Mavericks on Monday, August 10 (3:00 p.m. ET, NBA TV)
  • vs. San Antonio Spurs on Thursday, August 13 (TBD, TBD)

Washington Wizards

  • vs. Phoenix Suns on Friday, July 31 (4:00 p.m. ET)
  • vs. Brooklyn Nets on Sunday, August 2 (2:00 p.m. ET)
  • vs. Indiana Pacers on Monday, August 3 (4:00 p.m. ET)
  • vs. Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday, August 5 (4:00 p.m. ET, NBA TV)
  • vs. New Orleans Pelicans on Friday, August 7 (8:00 p.m. ET)
  • vs. Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday, August 9 (12:30 p.m. ET)
  • vs. Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday, August 11 (9:00 p.m. ET)
  • vs. Boston Celtics on Thursday, August 13 (TBD, TBD)

 

What about the 2020-2021 NBA season?

While everyone is more than excited for the NBA to return, the elephant in the room is how it’ll affect the 2020-2021 season. The Athletic's Shams Charania reported the NBA season could potentially resume on December 1, 2020. With Game 7 of the NBA Finals scheduled on October 12, there's only a short window to prepare for the next season with training camps targeting a November 10 return. The dates do remain fluid, so expect the league to provide another announcement after the Larry O'Brien trophy is presented.

Restarting the league quickly does pose an injury concern, especially when you consider the long layoff due to the coronavirus and going into an intense and fast format. The NBA is certainly doing their part to try and help quell those concerns but no plan can be perfect. In a sport that endures so many injuries, to begin with, it’ll be something to watch out for.

Before the speculating begin, it’s fair to say that the NBA has taken a cautious and thoughtful approach on how to handle coming back from the shutdown the league endured from COVID-19 back on March 11. With the league coming back on July 30, it marked 140 days between games taking place. If they feel a return on Christmas is too early, Adam Silver and the NBA Board of Governors would carve out a plan that not only makes sense for the league but it’s players as well. For now, we have an NBA season returning that’ll provide the immense amount of entertainment we so desperately crave.

After the conclusion of the postseason, the NBA Draft will take place on October 15, 2020 and free agency is set to follow on October 18, 2020.