NBA recently announced a pre-season match schedule for the 2020-21 season and a new coronavirus infection prevention protocol. The pre-season match will run from December 11th to 19th, and the regular season will start on the 22nd. On the 11th, the Clippers vs Lakers, Magic vs Hawks, Knicks vs Pistons, Rockets vs Bulls, Kings vs Blazers cards are assembled. The Lakers, the champions of last season, will be in action in just 61 days from the 6th round of the NBA Finals to the first round of the pre-season match.
The number of pre-season matches varies from team to team. The Nets, Celtics, Pelicans, Heat and Sixers have only two games, while the other teams will play up to four games. As each team needs to prepare on a very tight schedule, it is expected that early seasons will build chemistry while fighting the match.
Regarding the new coronavirus countermeasures that are attracting attention, the league has distributed a 134-page protocol guide to each team. Since the match is not held in an isolated “bubble” like last season, the protocol was created in anticipation of a severe situation where the risk of infection is expected to increase.
According to the protocol, athletes are required to wear a mask from the moment they get out of their private car. Do not remove the mask during workouts or practice within the team facility. Coaches are also not allowed to lower their masks and give instructions to athletes. If the athlete tests positive, the team is obliged to contact the local health department, track contacts with the athlete, and disinfect the room used by the athlete. Athletes infected with the virus will be quarantined in a room prepared by the team and will not be exposed to the outside world until after 10 days or two consecutive negative tests every 24 hours.
The guide clearly states that the season will not be interrupted or canceled even if an infected person appears. However, there is no specific response in the event of an explosive increase in infected people. Unlike the bubble, the match will be held with spectators in the arena, but attention is focused on how much the league and each team can control the infection.