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MLB

NFL slashes preseason schedule in half amid coronavirus case uptick

The NFL will chop its preseason slate in half this year in response to the unique circumstances of the coronavirus pandemic, which has already kept training programs remote this summer.

Pro Football Talk was the first outlet to report the news. The league is expected to make the official announcement Thursday.

By limiting preseason action — a step players have advocated for beyond the COVID-19 outbreak in order to prevent injury — the NFL hopes to prevent travel-related virus spread and allow players to get in shape at a more natural pace. COVID-19 cases in the U.S. have shot up over the past two weeks, rising to a recent daily average of more than 40,000 new diagnoses nationwide.

It’s been a strange couple of months for NFL franchises following the draft in April. Usually able to ease rookies and newcomers into their cultures during training camp, they’ve instead relied on technology to provide virtual team-building neccesities.

The first preseason game of 2020 is scheduled for Aug. 20.

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Basketball

NBA schedule 2020: Dates, times, TV channels for season restart in Orlando

More than three months after the NBA suspended play following Rudy Gobert’s positive coronavirus (COVID-19) test, the league is finally on track to return. After the NBA and National Basketball Players Association officially finalized a plan for a restart, the full finish of the regular-season schedule was revealed Friday night. 

Play is set to resume July 30 with a doubleheader featuring the Jazz vs. Pelicans and Clippers vs. Lakers. “Seeding games” will continue each day through Aug. 14 to determine playoff positioning. The postseason will follow the typical format with full best-of-seven series all the way through the NBA Finals.

A total of 22 teams will travel to Orlando, Fla.: the 16 teams currently in playoff position and six teams within six games of the No. 8 seed in either conference (Kings, Pelicans, Spurs, Suns, Trail Blazers, Wizards).

Outside of the game schedule, there are additional unprecedented challenges. Players will be dealing with the threat of the novel coronavirus and injury following such a long layoff, plus the mental challenge of remaining focused on basketball while being largely isolated from the outside world.

The full 2020 NBA regular-season schedule is listed below by date along with the current standings. (Times and TV channels for the final two days of seeding games have not yet been revealed.)

NBA schedule 2020

(All times Eastern)

July 30

July 31

Aug. 1 

Aug. 2

Aug. 3

Aug. 4

Aug. 5

Aug. 6

Aug. 7

Aug. 8

Aug. 9

Aug. 10

Aug. 11

Aug. 12

Aug. 13

Aug. 14

NBA standings 2020

Here are the current NBA standings as of March 11, the last day official games were played. Teams in bold have been invited to Orlando to finish the regular season.

Eastern Conference

Western Conference

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