During the season restart, there will be a maximum of seven seeding games per day across three venues at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Each team will be designated as the home team in four seeding games and the visiting team in four seeding games. The tip-off time for each team’s last seeding game, scheduled to be played on Aug. 13 or 14, will be determined at a later date in order to provide the most compelling matchups to a national audience. As part of the restart, the NBA and its broadcast and technology partners are collaborating to enhance game telecasts and bring fans an immersive, interactive viewing experience.
The 88 seeding games, which were selected from the remaining 259 regular-season matchups, will count toward the final 2019-20 regular-season standings and regular-season statistics. In the first step of the selection process for the seeding games, the matchups were chosen chronologically, starting from March 11, except in these instances:
• A matchup featured a non-participating team
• A matchup resulted in either team in the matchup exceeding eight total games
• A matchup prevented any participating team from having eight feasible matchups
The second step in the selection process was matchup balancing. There were eight instances in which selecting matchups chronologically prevented a matchup that was scheduled to be played two more times in the remainder of the regular season from being included among the seeding games. In those cases, one instance of that matchup was added as a seeding game, and instances of repeat matchups as seeding games were removed where possible.
For example: Milwaukee’s two remaining regular-season matchups against the Washington Wizards were scheduled to be played on March 21 and 27 and their two remaining regular-season matchups against the Brooklyn Nets were scheduled to be played on April 9 and 15. If matchups for seeding games were selected in chronological order only, then the Bucks would have been scheduled to play the Wizards twice and the Nets zero times. To balance the matchups, one instance of a Bucks-Nets matchup was added as a seeding game and one instance of a Bucks-Wizards matchup was removed as a seeding game.
The seeding games will conclude on Aug. 14. If a play-in is required to determine the eighth playoff seed in either conference, it will take place on Aug. 15-16. The first round of the 2020 NBA Playoffs will begin on Aug. 17.