“To be or not to be: that is the question.”
No we are not going to dissect into William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, but the question is relevant. Last Thursday ESPN Senior Writer Jackie MacMullen detailed the possibilities of a second NBA bubble to be held in Chicago for the eight teams who weren’t invited to Orlando.
Who is Involved?
This scenario would include the Atlanta Hawks, Charlotte Hornets, Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit Pistons, Golden State Warriors, Minnesota Timberwolves, and New York Knicks. If the idea were to play out, it would take place sometime after the start of the Orlando bubble.
Teams are waiting on how the situation in Orlando plays out before they vote with the go ahead. They are waiting to see how many players will test positive and trying to see how the league handles those issues. We can’t be sure that we can isolate the virus and keep it out of the new proposed season, so everything is trial and error at the current moment.
Who Will Play?
This seems to be the question everyone is asking. Some players, like Avery Bradley, decided to sit out the shortened season and playoffs due to his family. But this new scenario would be different than the one set to take place.
The 22 teams set to take the stage in Orlando are fighting for the playoffs and hopes at securing a NBA championship. Players are having to leave their homes for approximately three months, which means leaving family and normalcy to play. That is already a struggle that has caused players to choose not to play.
Why is that an issue here? Because the players choosing to take place in this alternate Chicago season wouldn’t be challenging for a playoff spot or a championship. Keeping this in mind players such as, Trae Young, John Collins, Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Karl Anthony Towns, and others will have to make a decision to risk an injury to play.
If this new bubble is approved, be on the lookout for players from each team because many will opt out.
What if They Play?
If all of Atlanta’s players chose to play this would be important to the Hawks as it will give them another mini-camp and possible scrimmages in order to develop their young players. The scrimmages and camp would be a big help to Atlanta and head coach Lloyd Pierce as they can continue to work with their young core.
As the season came to a delay, Cam Reddish began to play a lot better than he did at the start of the season. D’Andre Hunter was coming into his own as the Three and D player. This second bubble would give Cam, Hunter, Huerter, Collins, Young, and others more time to build on that chemistry and mature on the court.
However, we can all but mark down Clint Capela as someone who will likely opt out. He hasn’t suited up for the Hawks since being acquired from Houston back in February due to injury.
This new season for non-playoff teams sounds great, but doesn’t seem overly likely at the moment. The Orlando season hasn’t kicked off yet and the number of cases of COVID-19 is beginning to soar in Florida. Something seems destined to go down in Florida which will effectively cancel any Chciago based season.
Per the report, seven of the eight non-playoff teams were on a conference call to discuss the possible scenario. The lone absent member from the call was the New York Knicks as they are trying to interview candidates for their current head coach position. This call was to gauge the interest of the eight teams and to provide assurances that they would send their players.
Dwayne Casey, head coach of the Detroit Pistons, introduced the idea of just mini-camps as a way to develop their players rather than send them to a different bubble. Per the report, he said in an informal poll that a majority of the coaches not in Orlando would prefer to hold their own mini-camps.
Mini-camps seem like a far more viable option. Teams would be able to stay in their own cities and follow the COVID-19 guidelines set by their state and would be able to build that chemistry and development they so desire.
All in all, I like many of you, am hoping all goes according to plan. Sports, as we have seen, are very important. The UFC has shown there are ways you can still be safe while putting out solid entertainment for viewers.
Lets hope the NBA can come back without any issues.