Can the NBA Return to Action Without the NHL?

Giannis Antetokounmpo
MILWAUKEE, WI - NOVEMBER 30: Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks dunks the ball during a game against the Charlotte Hornets on November 30, 2019 at the Fiserv Forum Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images

US sport is currently in lockdown due to the coronavirus outbreak. The NFL is currently out of season, while the MLB and MLS are in a position where they have time on their hands.

Things are different for the other two major leagues, the NBA and NHL. They are coming towards the end of the regular season and have the playoffs still to play.

The hope is that something can happen to end the season properly, even if this means jumping straight into the playoffs, but the leagues are going to have to talk to each other.

Can either come back while the other deems it unsafe to do so? Many teams share arenas, locker rooms, media personnel and much more, there is a lot of crossover.

When Could the Season be Ended?

This is where those in charge of scheduling in both the NHL and NBA would have to be very creative.

Teams in both leagues have been asked to provide arena availability for the summer months of June, July and August. These are peak concert times, as there is no sport to dictate arena dates.

Sport being played would cause a headache. For example, in Colorado the Pepsi Center has concerts booked, while the Avs and Nuggets are going to be in the playoffs. Can that arena provide all dates if both teams reach the finals, while also keeping concerts on?

There has been talk of a shortened playoff format for both leagues too, which would certainly help this situation.

However, this still needs to mean something and not leave us in a situation where we are hosting the playoffs for the sake of it, with little meaning to games and a false title on the line.

Can One League Return?

The answer here has to be no, unless they can find somewhere else to play. If you are deeming a facility to be safe for games and fans in one sport, the same facility has to be safe for another.

The scheduling side of things would be much easier with just one sport returning but there is no way this will happen.

Talks will more than likely have taken place between the two leagues, player representatives and league officials about this.

There may be instances where a team could play, and they don’t share an arena with anyone else but those will be the minority here.

For those hoping to see the NBA back soon, it is just as important to look out for announcements from the NHL as it is the NBA on the coronavirus situation.

What about the Fans?

Fans play a big part in sport, and this is especially the case when we get to the playoffs. Would hosting the playoffs without fans be the right thing to do? It would certainly cause a conundrum.

Many are desperate to get sport back in any form, and would gladly take the playoffs behind closed doors with all games on TV.

Deep down though, would the players or fans want that to happen, is it just a knee jerk reaction due to us currently having no sport?

Fans love to bet on sport too, and the most popular betting sites in the UK can be found here. These sites are looking forward to welcoming sport back in the near future.

When things do return, betting on the NBA is expected to be strong. People will have missed out for a long period of time, and want to get back into the swing of things.

With the possible excitement of the playoffs around the corner and betting on who will be NBA Champions, it could prove to be a busy period for the bookmakers when sport comes back.