KEY POINTS

  • East teams are bracing for a possible return of John Wall in the Orlando tilt
  • The Wahington Wizards are the last team from the East to join the revised season in Florida
  • The NBA is "poised" to approve the modified format proposal

The NBA has just announced that the 2020 season will resume with the top 22 teams set to be brought to Orlando to play under a revised format. The scheduled restart, however, will reportedly not take place until late July, forcing the teams left standing - most particularly those in the East - to prepare for all possible scenarios, including the chance of Washington Wizards star guard John Wall coming back in time for the joust. 

The five-time All-Star has missed action since December 2018 due to an Achilles injury. But despite him and Washington stating that his comeback will not happen this season, teams in the East remain wary and vigilant at the possibility, especially that the Wizards will be entering the modified tourney with their backs virtually against the wall.

“The Wizards and John Wall have both said he's not going to return in 2019-20 but some Eastern Conference teams expecting to head to Orlando are planning as if Wall may return to the court once the season resumes. Wall has been sidelined since December 2018,” Ian Begley of SNY TV reported Tuesday.

Under the proposed format, all 22 teams will play eight regular-season games first before a play-in for the final playoff spots in each conference is staged. The next round would then follow the standard 16-team playoff format.

As Jeff Zillgitt of USA TODAY explained: “The plan also includes an eight-game finish to the regular season, then a play-in tournament for the eighth seed in both conferences. If the ninth seed is not within four games of the eighth seed, there won’t be a play-in game in that conference. If there is a play-in game, it will be double elimination for the eighth seed and single elimination for the ninth seed.”

The Wizards are clinging on the ninth and final seat in the Eastern Conference bus headed to Disney World. With 16 more losses than wins in 64 games played so far this season, Scott Brooks and his boys will be facing an uphill climb in their bid to flip their season’s fortunes. Thanks to the revised format, Washington “realistically” will just have to overcome a 1.5 game deficit against the eighth-placed Orlando Magic, who are actually ahead of them by 5.5 games with a 30-35 tally.

John Wall John Wall #2 of the Washington Wizards reacts against the Brooklyn Nets during the first half at Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C., Dec. 1, 2018. Photo: Patrick Smith/Getty Images