The NBA has announced the structure and format for the 2020-21 season, which will include a play-in tournament to determine the teams that will fill the seventh and eighth playoff seeds in each conference. The 75th regular season will begin on December 22 and feature 72 games for each team.
As per the tentative schedule, the pre-season games will take place from December 11-19. The first half of regular season will be played between December 22, 2020, to March 4, 2021. All-star break will take place from March 5-10, 2021.
The second half of the regular season is scheduled to be played from March 11 to May 16, followed by the play-in tournament from May 18-21. Playoffs will then be held from May 22-July 22.
Each team will play three games against each intraconference opponent (42 total games per team), with each pairing featuring either two home games and one road game or one home game and two road games. Within each team's division, the league office has randomly assigned which two opponents will be played twice at home and which two opponents will be played twice on the road.
All five teams from within a division will play all five teams from one other intraconference division twice at home, and all five teams from the remaining intraconference division twice on the road.
Each team will play two games against each interconference opponent (30 total games per team), with each pairing featuring one home game and one road game.
The play-in tournament, which will take place after the regular season and before the first round of the playoffs, will include the teams with the seventh-highest through the tenth-highest winning percentages in each conference.
The teams with the seventh-highest and eighth-highest winning percentages in each conference will each have two opportunities to win one game to earn a playoff spot. The teams with the ninth-highest and tenth-highest winning percentages in each conference will each have to win two consecutive games to earn a playoff spot.
At the conclusion of the regular season, the team with the seventh-highest winning percentage in each conference will host the team with the eighth-highest winning percentage in its conference in a play-in game (the "seven-eight game"). The winner of the seven-eight game in each conference will be the seventh seed in the playoffs for its conference.
The team with the ninth-highest winning percentage in each conference will host the team with the tenth-highest winning percentage in its conference in a play-in game (the "nine-ten game"). The loser of the seven-eight game will host the winner of the nine-ten game in a play-in game, and the winner of that game will be the eighth seed in the playoffs for its conference.