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Back to normal? The NBA plans to start the 21-22 season in October

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Miami (AFP) – The NBA informed its teams Thursday that it intends to return to its normal schedule next season, with training camps opening in late September and the regular season set to begin on October 19.

The memo sent to the teams, a copy of which was obtained by The Associated Press, does not specify when the 2021-22 regular season will end – that is because it has not yet been decided whether the tournament will officially return. . If it does, and there are no indications that it won’t, the likely date for the regular season to end is April 10.

A return to the regular schedule is not an unexpected development, and Commissioner Adam Silver has said several times that the league’s intent over the past several months – allowing viruses – has been to return the league to its usual calendar after two seasons of ruin in the table. due to the epidemic.

But it will lead to another rapid turnaround for the teams that play in the NBA Finals this summer.

The possible deadline for Game 7 of this season’s series of titles is July 22. Training camps for next season are set to begin on September 28, meaning this season’s finalists are likely to return to camp in less than 68 days after the 2021 finals.

Last season’s finalists, the champions Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat, spent 51 days between the end of the 2020 Finals and the start of this season’s training camp — with this season’s schedule starting 72 days after the Lakers won the title in a restart bubble. At Walt Disney World.

The Lakers and the Heat were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs this year; Only two of the last eight teams last season made it back to the second round of the post-season in 2021. Questions about exhausted teams have been a talking point about the league all this season, and likely will again next season – especially for those clubs delving deep into This year’s qualifiers.

“From the moment we entered the bubble until now, it has been draining,” Lakers forward LeBron James said after his team’s elimination. “Mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally draining. …every team has to deal with it, obviously. But obviously with us and Miami going long distances in the bubble and then coming back on short notice for this season, it has been very stressful.”

If the tournament — during which teams finishing between 7th and 10th in each game play a conference to determine the teams that will be seeded No. 7 and No. 8 on the east and west sides of the arc — returns along the same schedule that the NBA has used this season, the competition for the Those matches are between 12-15 April 2022.

The playoffs will begin on April 16, the 2022 NBA Finals are scheduled to begin on June 2, and the planned end date for Game 7 of this title series will be June 19.

The 2022 NBA draft will be on June 23, the teams were told in the memo.

Teams will play competitors in their respective divisions four times and the 15 teams from other conferences twice per team, as usual. Some teams also play in their conference only three times instead of four, and these games are decided in a five-year rotation; The league plans to use what would have been the 2020-21 matrix to determine those matches.

This matrix hasn’t been in effect this season for 72 games, with teams playing 14 other games from their own conference three times and 15 opponents from the other conference twice.

It also remains unclear if things will ever really return to normal. No final decision has been made as to whether the Toronto Raptors – the only Canadian team in the NBA – will be able to start next season at home again. The Raptors have been squashed all season, playing 36 games at home in Tampa, Florida.

If the Raptors can play at home, they will likely play in Toronto on November 1. This is the 75th anniversary of the first NBA-New York Knicks game in the Toronto Huskies. The BAA has been the precursor to what has been called the NBA since 1949.

The league has been planning since at least 2018 to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the 2021-22 season, and plans are still in place for next season’s All-Star Game in Cleveland. It was scheduled for February 20.

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More from AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA And the https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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