Reigning champions, Toronto Raptors, L.A Lakers and Milwaukee Bucks are pundits’ favourites to win the NBA, which is set to return after a five-month hiatus caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The NBA 2019/20 season is restarting tomorrow across the venues with the StarTimes’ ESPN channel broadcasting the games in Africa.
These NBA games will be unlike any previous year, as social distancing requirements mean that fans will not be in attendance and all the games will be played at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex, inside Disney World in Orlando, Florida.
Only the best 22 of the league’s 30 teams will participate with each team to play eight games to finish the regular season. From these, the top seven teams in each conference will advance, with the final eighth seed in each conference being determined by a potential play-in tournament before the traditional 16-team playoffs.
LeBron James’ LA Lakers are the outstanding favourites to take the title. When the NBA season was postponed, the Lakers sat atop the West with a 49-14 mark.
In the West, the other contender is the Clippers. Prior to the beginning of the 2019-20 season, the Clippers were considered to be favourites to win the title after their impressive offseason where they added Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.
The only squad with a better mark than the Lakers is the Milwaukee Bucks. Led by the “Greek Freak” Giannis Antetokounmpo, they have benefited from playing in the significantly weaker Eastern Conference.
Speaking on the resumption of the NBA season, StarTimes PR Manager, Lazarus Ibeabuchi, said: “We are excited to bring more sports offering to our subscribers. Basketball lovers in Nigeria can now look forward to action coming back on their screens through the ESPN channel.”