2020–21 NBA season

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Template:Infobox sports season The 2020–21 NBA season is the 75th season of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the regular season has been reduced to 72 games, and began on December 22, 2020.[1] The playoffs are tentatively scheduled to run under the standard 16-team playoff format between May 22 and July 22, 2021.[1] Due to COVID-19 cross-border travel restrictions imposed by the Government of Canada, the Toronto Raptors plan to play their 2020–21 home games at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida to begin the season.[2]

Transactions[edit source | edit]

Retirement[edit source | edit]

  • On September 8, 2020, Marvin Williams announced his retirement from the NBA. Williams played for four teams during his 15-year NBA career.[3]
  • On September 14, 2020, Leandro Barbosa announced his retirement from the NBA. Barbosa played 14 seasons in the NBA, winning one championship with the Golden State Warriors in 2015.[4][5]
  • On October 24, 2020, Kevin Séraphin announced his retirement from the NBA. Séraphin played for three teams during his seven-year NBA career.[6][7]
  • On November 16, 2020, Corey Brewer announced his retirement from the NBA. Brewer played for 12 years in the NBA for eight teams, winning one championship with the Dallas Mavericks in 2011.[8]
  • On November 18, 2020, Dorell Wright announced his retirement from the NBA. Wright played for four teams during his 11-year NBA career.[9]
  • On November 25, 2020, Aaron Brooks announced his retirement from the NBA. Brooks played for seven teams during his 13-year NBA career.[10]
  • On November 30, 2020, Andrew Bogut announced his retirement from the NBA. Bogut played for five teams during his 14-year NBA career, winning one championship with the Golden State Warriors in 2015.[11][12]
  • On November 30, 2020, Evan Turner announced his retirement from the NBA. Turner played 10 seasons for five teams during his time in the NBA.[13]

Free agency[edit source | edit]

Free agency negotiations were scheduled to begin on October 18, 2020, but that date was delayed. On November 9, it was announced that free agency would begin on November 20 at 6 p.m. ET, with signings permitted starting at 12 p.m. ET on November 22.[14]

Coaching changes[edit source | edit]

Coaching changes
Team 2019–20 season 2020–21 season
Brooklyn Nets Jacque Vaughn (interim) Steve Nash
Chicago Bulls Jim Boylen Billy Donovan
Houston Rockets Mike D'Antoni Stephen Silas
Indiana Pacers Nate McMillan Nate Bjorkgren
Los Angeles Clippers Doc Rivers Tyronn Lue
New Orleans Pelicans Alvin Gentry Stan Van Gundy
New York Knicks Mike Miller (interim) Tom Thibodeau
Oklahoma City Thunder Billy Donovan Mark Daigneault
Philadelphia 76ers Brett Brown Doc Rivers

Off-season[edit source | edit]

Preseason[edit source | edit]

The COVID-19 pandemic in North America, which pushed the conclusion of the previous 2019–20 season and playoffs into the fall, had delayed the start date of training camp to November 10, 2020.[32] The preseason began on December 11, 2020, and ended on December 19, 2020.[33]

Regular season[edit source | edit]

The start of the 2020–21 regular season was delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The NBA initially set a target date of December 1, 2020, to start the regular season.[34] However, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver suggested further delaying the season until at least January because local health orders at each NBA city would limit fan attendance. The NBA receives 40 percent of its revenue from attendance, and thus delaying the season until it is safer to let more fans into the arenas would ease the financial pain.[34][35] The NBA is also contemplating organizing the schedule such that teams would have less travel, with back-to-back games in the same cities against the same opponent.[36] National Basketball Players Association executive director Michele Roberts also suggested that the season might eventually have to start inside a "bubble" environment, similar to the 2020 playoffs.[37]

On October 13, the NBA delayed the targeted start date of the regular season from December 2020 to Martin Luther King Jr. Day, January 18, 2021.[38] Later in October, however, Sports Illustrated reported that the NBA was targeting December 22, 2020, as the first day of the season.[39] On November 5, 2020, the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) tentatively approved a 72-game regular season that will begin on December 22, 2020. The season is expected to feature a condensed schedule so that the NBA Finals could be played once again in June, which will allow NBA players to participate in the 2020 Summer Olympics; the Olympics were postponed to 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic in Japan.[32][40][41]

On November 17, the NBA announced that the 72-game regular season would run from December 22 through May 16. Each team would play three games against each opponent from its own conference and two games against each interconference opponent. The season would include a six-day All-Star break from March 5 to 10, even though the All-Star Game and related festivities may be canceled.[42] The break serves to separate the two halves of the season. The schedule will be released in two parts. The first half was released in early December, while the second half will be released in the later part of the first half.[1]

By conference[edit source | edit]

  • * – Division leader

Play-in tournament[edit source | edit]

The NBA will stage a "Play-in tournament" for teams ranked 7th through 10th in each conference from May 18–21. The 7th place team will play the 8th place team, with the winner earning the 7-seed. The 9th place team will play the 10th place team with the loser of that game being eliminated. The 7th-8th loser will then play the 9th-10th winner, with the winner of that game earning the 8-seed and the loser being eliminated.[1]

Postseason[edit source | edit]

The playoffs will begin on May 22 and operate under the standard playoff format, with four rounds of best-of-seven series. The 2021 NBA Finals will begin no later than July 8, with a potential Game 7 no later than July 22.[1]

Statistics[edit source | edit]

Individual statistic leaders[edit source | edit]

Category Player Team(s) Statistic
Points per game Bradley Beal Washington Wizards 35.0
Rebounds per game Andre Drummond Cleveland Cavaliers 15.2
Assists per game James Harden Houston Rockets 11.0
Steals per game Larry Nance Jr. Cleveland Cavaliers 2.5
Blocks per game Myles Turner Indiana Pacers 4.0
Turnovers per game Russell Westbrook Washington Wizards 5.3
Fouls per game Richaun Holmes Sacramento Kings 4.2
Minutes per game R. J. Barrett New York Knicks 37.9
FG% Jarrett Allen Brooklyn Nets 69.5%
3FG% Seth Curry Philadelphia 76ers 59.5%
Efficiency per game Nikola Jokić Denver Nuggets 35.7
Double-doubles Andre Drummond Cleveland Cavaliers 11
Triple-doubles Russell Westbrook Washington Wizards 4
Nikola Jokić Denver Nuggets

Individual game highs[edit source | edit]

Category Player Team Statistic
Points Stephen Curry Golden State Warriors 62
Rebounds Andre Drummond Cleveland Cavaliers 24
Assists Nikola Jokić Denver Nuggets 18
Steals Jimmy Butler Miami Heat 7
Blocks Myles Turner Indiana Pacers 8
Three pointers Zach LaVine Chicago Bulls 10
Terry Rozier Charlotte Hornets

Team statistic leaders[edit source | edit]

Category Team Statistic
Points per game Milwaukee Bucks 121.9
Rebounds per game Utah Jazz 50.4
Assists per game Charlotte Hornets 28.9
Steals per game Cleveland Cavaliers 10.5
Blocks per game Philadelphia 76ers 7.2
Turnovers per game Chicago Bulls 17.0
Fouls per game Washington Wizards 24.6
FG% Milwaukee Bucks 49.4%
FT% Los Angeles Clippers 84.1%
3FG% Los Angeles Clippers 42.4%
+/− Milwaukee Bucks +11.6

Awards[edit source | edit]

Players of the Week[edit source | edit]

The following players were named the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week.

Week Eastern Conference Western Conference Ref
December 22–27 Domantas Sabonis (Indiana Pacers) (1/1) Brandon Ingram (New Orleans Pelicans) (1/1) [43]
December 28 – January 3 Tobias Harris (Philadelphia 76ers) (1/1) Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors) (1/1) [44]
January 4–10 Jayson Tatum (Boston Celtics) (1/1) Luka Dončić (Dallas Mavericks) (1/1) [45]

Players of the Month[edit source | edit]

The following players were named the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month.

Month Eastern Conference Western Conference Ref

Rookies of the Month[edit source | edit]

The following players were named the Eastern and Western Conference Rookies of the Month.

Month Eastern Conference Western Conference Ref

Coaches of the Month[edit source | edit]

The following coaches were named the Eastern and Western Conference Coaches of the Month.

Month Eastern Conference Western Conference Ref

Uniforms[edit source | edit]

On July 21, 2020, the NBA and Nike announced that the "Statement Edition" uniforms would switch to the Air Jordan label.[46]

Arenas[edit source | edit]

  • The Denver Nuggets' home arena, formerly known as the Pepsi Center, was renamed Ball Arena on October 22, 2020.[47]
  • The Phoenix Suns' home arena, formerly known as Talking Stick Resort Arena, was renamed PHX Arena after the naming rights deal expired on November 6, 2020.[48]

Temporary relocation of the Toronto Raptors to Tampa[edit source | edit]

As the NBA's plans for the 2020–21 season began to take shape, the Toronto Raptors were denied permission to play home games in Toronto as the Canadian federal government ruled that repeated cross-border trips by the Raptors and their opponents would be a major health risk due to the different levels of COVID-19 cases in the United States and Canada. This is similar to what happened to the Raptors' Major League Baseball counterpart, the Toronto Blue Jays, who were forced to play their 2020 home games in Buffalo.[49]

After looking at several U.S. cities,[50] the Raptors announced on November 20, 2020, that they would play their home games at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida to begin the season.[2]

COVID-19 restrictions[edit source | edit]

Six teams announced plans to admit in-person spectators within the start of the season.[51]

Team Home games with spectators allowed Limitations Source
Atlanta Some First five home games played for family and friends only, planning to open to the public at 10% capacity on January 18, 2021. [51]
Cleveland All Capped at 10% capacity. [51]
Houston All Capped at 4,500. [51]
New Orleans All Capped at 750. [51]
Orlando All Capped at 4,000. [51]
San Antonio None The Spurs announced plans to begin hosting spectators on January 1, but announced on December 28 that this will be delayed indefinitely due to rising COVID-19 cases in the team's market. [52]
Toronto Some Played their first few home games in Tampa Bay capped at 20% capacity. On January 9, 2021, Amalie Arena operator Vanik Sports Group announced that both the Raptors and the NHL's Tampa Bay Lightning will play behind closed doors until at least February 5, due to rising COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in the local market. [53][51]

Media[edit source | edit]

This is the fifth year of the current nine-year contracts with ABC, ESPN, TNT, and NBA TV.[54]

To reduce on-site staff, ESPN and TNT will leverage the home team's rightsholder as a host broadcaster for some of their games. They will send a neutral "world feed" and other camera feeds to the network, which will then add commentary and surrounding coverage. ESPN and TNT are also deploying additional cameras specific to their broadcasts, and ESPN may provide a supplemental on-site presence if the local broadcaster does not have enough capacity to support the host model. ESPN stated that some (roughly half) of their games, particularly marquee games exclusive to ESPN and ABC, would be produced on-site with an existing hybrid model (where some producers and graphics operators work from ESPN's studios in Bristol, Connecticut). TNT also planned to begin doing some games on-site beginning with Martin Luther King Jr. Day.[55][56]

On December 26, 2020, it was announced that Fox Sports Networks had acquired rights to simulcast 36 Toronto Raptors games locally in the Tampa Bay area through at least the first half of the season. All of the games will be carried via the Fox Sports Go app, with selected games to also air on television via Fox Sports Sun (15) and Fox Sports Florida (2).[57]

Notable occurrences[edit source | edit]

See also[edit source | edit]

References[edit source | edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 "NBA announces structure and format for 2020-21 season". NBA.com. Retrieved November 19, 2020.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Toronto Raptors to Start Season in Tampa". SI.com. November 20, 2020. Retrieved November 20, 2020.
  3. "Bucks Marvin Williams Retiring From NBA At 34 Saying He's Been Very Blessed". ESPN.com. September 8, 2020. Retrieved September 8, 2020.
  4. "Warriors Name Leandro Barbosa Player Mentor Coach". NBA.com. September 14, 2020. Retrieved September 20, 2020.
  5. Feldman, Dan (September 14, 2020). "Former Sixth Man of the Year Leandro Barbosa retires". sports.yahoo.com. Retrieved September 20, 2020.
  6. Askounis, Johnny (October 24, 2020). "Kevin Seraphin announces decision to retire". Eurohoops. Retrieved October 25, 2020.
  7. Helin, Kurt (October 24, 2020). "Seven-year NBA veteran Kevin Seraphin retires from basketball at age 30". nba.nbcsports.com. Retrieved October 26, 2020.
  8. "Pelicans announce 2020-21 coaching staff". NBA.com. November 16, 2020. Retrieved November 16, 2020.
  9. "Dorell Wright calls it a day". Eurohoops. November 18, 2020. Retrieved November 18, 2020.
  10. "Knicks Announce Staff Hirings". NBA.com. November 26, 2020. Retrieved December 6, 2020.
  11. "Andrew Bogut Announces Retirement". NBA.com. November 30, 2020. Retrieved December 1, 2020.
  12. Uluc, Olgun (November 30, 2020). "Andrew Bogut announces retirement from all forms of basketball". ESPN.com. Retrieved December 1, 2020.
  13. Roche, Conor (November 30, 2020). "Celtics reportedly hiring Evan Turner to assistant coach role". Boston.com. Retrieved December 1, 2020.
  14. "NBA, NBPA agree on 2020-21 season start and adjustments to CBA". NBA.com. November 9, 2020. Retrieved November 19, 2020.
  15. "New York Knicks Name Tom Thibodeau Head Coach". NBA.com. July 30, 2020. Retrieved October 21, 2020.
  16. "Jim Boylen Relieve as Bulls Head Coach". NBA.com. August 14, 2020. Retrieved August 14, 2020.
  17. "Alvin Gentry relieved of head coaching duties". NBA.com. August 15, 2020. Retrieved August 15, 2020.
  18. "Brown Relieved of Head Coaching Duties". NBA.com. August 24, 2020. Retrieved August 24, 2020.
  19. "Pacers Relieve Nate McMillan of Coaching Duties". NBA.com. August 26, 2020. Retrieved August 26, 2020.
  20. "Nets Hire Hall Of Famer Steve Nash Head Coach". ESPN.com. September 3, 2020. Retrieved September 3, 2020.
  21. "Coach Billy Donovan, Thunder mutually part ways after five seasons". ESPN.com. September 8, 2020. Retrieved September 8, 2020.
  22. Reynolds, Tim (September 13, 2020). "Mike D'Antoni tells Rockets he won't return as coach". NBA.com. Retrieved September 14, 2020.
  23. "Chicago Bulls Hire Billy Donovan As Head Coach". ChicagoTribune.com. September 22, 2020. Retrieved September 22, 2020.
  24. "Bulls name Billy Donovan coach". NBA.com. September 22, 2020. Retrieved September 22, 2020.
  25. Reynolds, Tim (September 28, 2020). "Doc Rivers out as LA Clippers coach after 7 seasons". NBA.com. Retrieved September 28, 2020.
  26. "Team Names Doc Rivers Head Coach". NBA.com. October 3, 2020. Retrieved October 3, 2020.
  27. "Pacers Hire Nate Bjorkgren As Head Coach". NBA.com. October 20, 2020. Retrieved October 20, 2020.
  28. "Clippers Name Tyronn Lue Head Coach". NBA.com. October 20, 2020. Retrieved October 20, 2020.
  29. "Pelicans name Stan Van Gundy head coach". NBA.com. October 22, 2020. Retrieved October 23, 2020.
  30. "Rockets Name Stephen Silas Head Coach". NBA.com. October 30, 2020. Retrieved October 30, 2020.
  31. "Thunder Names Mark Daigneault Head Coach". NBA.com. November 11, 2020. Retrieved November 11, 2020.
  32. 32.0 32.1 Bontemps, Tim; Windhorst, Brian (June 5, 2020). "What we know and don't know about the NBA's return to play". ESPN.com. Retrieved June 10, 2020.
  33. "NBA releases 2020-21 preseason schedule". NBA.com. November 27, 2020. Retrieved November 27, 2020.
  34. 34.0 34.1 Windhorst, Brian (August 20, 2020). "NBA likely pushing back Dec. 1 start to 2020-21 season, Adam Silver says". ESPN. Retrieved September 6, 2020.
  35. Toporek, Bryan (May 9, 2020). "Adam Silver Warns NBA Players About Forthcoming Financial Pain In 2020-21". Forbes. Retrieved September 6, 2020.
  36. Young, Jabari (September 24, 2020). "NBA commissioner Adam Silver says league might not start next regular season until 2021". CNBC. Retrieved September 30, 2020.
  37. Bontemps, Tim (July 28, 2020). "NBPA's Michele Roberts says league might need bubble for 2020-21, too". ESPN. Retrieved September 30, 2020.
  38. Maloney, Jack (October 13, 2020). "NBA targeting Jan. 18 for start of next season, will give eight weeks notice ahead of time, per report". CBS Sports. Retrieved October 15, 2020.
  39. West, Jenna (October 23, 2020). "Report: NBA Targeting Dec. 22 Start Date, 72-Game Schedule". SI.com. Retrieved October 24, 2020.
  40. Reynolds, Tim (November 5, 2020). "NBPA reps approve plan to start season Dec. 22". NBA.com. Retrieved November 6, 2020.
  41. Trenaman, Calum (November 6, 2020). "New NBA season set to begin December 22". CNN. Retrieved November 10, 2020.
  42. "REPORT: 2021 NBA ALL-STAR GAME UNLIKELY". SLAM. Retrieved November 20, 2020.
  43. "Brandon Ingram, Domantas Sabonis named NBA Players of the Week". NBA.com. December 28, 2020. Retrieved December 28, 2020.
  44. "Stephen Curry, Tobias Harris named NBA Players of the Week". NBA.com. January 4, 2021. Retrieved January 4, 2021.
  45. "Luka Doncic, Jayson Tatum named NBA Players of the Week | NBA.com". www.nba.com. Retrieved January 11, 2021.
  46. "Jumpman logo to appear on some NBA uniforms". ESPN.com. July 21, 2020. Retrieved July 22, 2020.
  47. Singer, Mike (October 22, 2020). "After 21 years, Pepsi Center to be renamed Ball Arena as part of new partnership". The Denver Post. Retrieved October 22, 2020.
  48. Rankin, Duane (November 17, 2020). "Phoenix Suns: New $45-million practice facility ready, adds to excitement". The Arizona Republic. Retrieved November 18, 2020.
  49. "Canadian officials concerned over Raptors' cross-border travel". ESPN.com. November 13, 2020. Retrieved November 20, 2020.
  50. "U.S. Cities Vying to Host the Raptors Next Season". SI.com. October 27, 2020. Retrieved November 20, 2020.
  51. 51.0 51.1 51.2 51.3 51.4 51.5 51.6 "Which NBA arenas will allow fans during the 2020-21 season?". NBA.com. Retrieved January 9, 2021.
  52. Noah_Magaro-George (December 28, 2020). "Report: The Spurs indefinitely postpone bringing fans back into the AT&T Center". Pounding The Rock. Retrieved January 9, 2021.
  53. "Lightning elects not to admit fans for foreseeable future". NHL.com. Retrieved January 9, 2021.
  54. "NBA extends television deals with ESPN, TNT". ESPN.com. February 14, 2016. Retrieved July 12, 2020.
  55. Dachman, Jason. "NBA 2020 Tipoff: ESPN Plans 50-50 Split Between Onsite and REMI Game Productions". Sports Video Group. Retrieved January 3, 2021.
  56. Hernandez, Kristian. "NBA 2020 Tipoff: Turner Sports Opts for 'At-Home' Production Until MLK Day". Sports Video Group. Retrieved January 3, 2021.
  57. "Raptors games to be shown locally on TV". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved January 3, 2021.
  58. "Westbrook becomes 4th with two triple-doubles to begin season". nbcsports.com. December 26, 2020. Retrieved December 27, 2020.
  59. "Russell Westbrook joins Oscar Robertson, starts season with three triple-doubles". yahoosports.com. December 29, 2020. Retrieved December 31, 2020.
  60. "Mavericks set record with 50-point halftime lead over Clippers". NBA.com. December 27, 2020. Retrieved December 27, 2020.
  61. "Stephen Curry third player, fastest ever to reach 2,500 career 3-pointers". NBA.com. December 27, 2020. Retrieved December 27, 2020.
  62. "Bucks set NBA record for 3-pointers in blowout of Heat". NBA.com. December 29, 2020. Retrieved December 30, 2020.
  63. "LeBron James extends record streak of 10-point games to 1,000". NBA.com. December 30, 2020. Retrieved December 31, 2020.
  64. "Carmelo Anthony passes Tim Duncan for 14th in career scoring". NBA.com. January 2, 2021. Retrieved January 3, 2021.
  65. "Bucks, Pistons take knee on opening possessions". ESPN.com. January 7, 2021. Retrieved January 8, 2021.
  66. Pina, Michael (January 7, 2021). "NBA's Fight for Social Justice Emboldened After U.S. Capitol Siege". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved January 8, 2021.
  67. Lou Flavius (January 7, 2021). "Duncan Robinson becomes fastest NBA player to make 300 threes". TalkBasket. Retrieved January 7, 2021.
  68. Anderson, Jason (January 8, 2021). "Raptors set franchise scoring record after rallying from 19-point deficit to beat Kings". sacbee.com. Retrieved January 8, 2021.
  69. "Hornets rookie LaMelo Ball becomes youngest to post triple-double". NBA.com. January 9, 2021. Retrieved January 9, 2021.

External links[edit source | edit]

Template:NBA seasons Template:2020–21 NBA season by team

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