Milwaukee Bucks: NBA will require a 25-day window to prep players for return

MILWAUKEE, WI - NOVEMBER 15: (Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WI - NOVEMBER 15: (Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images) /

A return date is no closer to being set, but the Milwaukee Bucks and the rest of the NBA’s teams will require 25 days to prepare before any resumption of games.

With the coronavirus continuing to devastate the US, along with countries around the globe, the prospect of a return date for the NBA season remains very much up in the air.

Previous reports have detailed how any return to action would likely require a roll out of rapid testing for players and all personnel who would be on site on game days, and although such options may currently be getting sought out, availability of tests remains a notable obstacle at present.

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On that front, while there are undoubtedly many moving pieces that will need to align when it comes to the point of games actually taking place again, the reality is there would be a lot to overcome to simply get to that point too.

With the season having been suspended over a month ago now, by the time action does resume, players will need a chance to condition themselves and return to basketball shape in what’s effectively a preseason training camp of sorts.

Speaking on SportsCenter on Sunday, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reported that, more specifically, a 25-day window would be required before any games could take place:

"“In talking to executives and trainers around the league, what they’re looking at is a 25-day return to basketball window. Hopefully, at some point, they can enact it. An 11-day series of individual workouts, where there’d be social distancing for a period of time. And then hopefully, if the clearance comes, that they can play 5-on-5 basketball, a 14-day training camp.”"

Although that kind of plan would push the timeline for a return to basketball even further down the line, it does make sense in terms of ensuring that a normal level of competition can take place after the hiatus, and one which wouldn’t see a dramatically increased injury risk for players.

Of course, from a Milwaukee Bucks perspective, this plan makes near perfect sense given that the teams All-Star duo of Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton have both revealed that they don’t even have a hoop to shoot on in their homes.

Antetokounmpo and Middleton are undoubtedly not alone on that front among Bucks players either, which offers up just a snippet of why significant structured basketball time will be required before games can resume.

Of course, another element that could prove useful to the NBA with such an approach is the extra time it allows for them to assess the risk of infection when players and coaches begin to assemble again.

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The NBA’s nightmare scenario would likely involve starting the season up only for player infections to require it to come to a standstill again, where in this case any early infections could see the plans frozen early, in a less visible fashion, and before teams from different cities start to mix with each other once again.