After a ton of controversy, the NBA Bubble has actually been going surprisingly great. There have been little to no COVID-19 cases, and the games have been just as intense, minus the fans in attendance. Not bad for life in 2020.
For those who don’t know, the NBA decided on a “bubble” quarantine zone to finish their season. Players arrived about a month prior to the restart in Orlando, Florida, to quarantine for two weeks and prepare for the season in the following two weeks. During all of this, the NBA is paying for their housing, food, haircuts and anything else they might need.
A total of 22 teams came back to play eight seeding games before the start of the playoffs, meaning these are games that counted toward their record and playoff position. Once those games were played, the amount of teams was cut down to 16, making it time for the playoffs.
This year’s playoffs may be different, but they are as intense as ever. In the Eastern Conference, the No. 5 seed Miami Heat upset the No. 1 seed Milwaukee Bucks, while the No. 3 seed Boston Celtics are on the verge of upsetting the No. 2 seed Toronto Raptors.
While in the West, it looks like the Conference Finals have a chance to be the battle of LA as the No. 2 Los Angeles Clippers are up 2-1 vs. the No. 3 seed Denver Nuggets, and the No. 1 seed Los Angeles Lakers are up 2-1 vs. the No. 4 seed Houston Rockets.
The Heat have perhaps been the biggest surprise after they dominated the Indiana Pacers in four games and nearly swept the Bucks, bringing their record to 8-1 in the playoffs.
One might ask why every sport doesn’t have a bubble format. Well, for starters, the NBA was in the midst of their season when they were forced to suspend operations in the middle of March due to COVID-19. Picking back up for the playoffs is a lot easier than starting an entirely new season, like the MLB and NFL must do.
Since the NBA season was close to being over, they could tell the teams that were out of playoff contention to stay home, and as we have come to know, the fewer people there are, the safer.
The only issue with locking players up in a bubble is that a lot of times, we as sports fans forget that the players we idolize on TV are indeed human. They are humans that have families and friends. Even though the NBA made it clear that the option of opting out was available to any player, doesn’t it seem wrong to make them choose between their team and their family?
The good news is that the teams who remain in the playoffs are being rewarded. Players are now allowed to be with their families since the NBA has deemed it safe for families to live in the bubble for the rest of the playoffs.
I have to be honest, the bubble format that the NBA has come up with has really worked. The whole point was to ensure that the league can control where the players go and therefore limit the spread of the virus.
The MLB has had to shut down portions of their season because of outbreaks on a team, and I’m sure the NFL will have to do the same. None of that has happened in the bubble; the bubble has allowed us to enjoy pro sports without any risk of spreading the virus, so job well done.
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