Chris Szagola/Associated Press
The two Klutch Sports clients practiced together as they await the NBA’s potential restart in Orlando, Florida:
James’ Los Angeles Lakers have the best record in the Western Conference at 49-14 and are well-positioned to challenge for a championship in the league’s return format. Simmons’ Philadelphia 76ers are also in the playoff picture with a 39-26 record, which is tied for the fifth-best mark in the Eastern Conference.
The two teams split a pair of regular-season matchups before the campaign was suspended on March 11 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
If the NBA does resume as planned on July 30, the 22 invited teams will play eight regular-season contests before a potential play-in tournament for the No. 8 seed if the No. 9 seed is within four games.
From there, the 16 remaining teams will play a traditional playoff schedule with best-of-seven series until a champion is crowned.
Philadelphia will likely need Simmons back and healthy if it is going to pose a threat. He hasn’t played since Feb. 22 because of a back injury, and head coach Brett Brown told Sports Illustrated‘s Chris Mannix he expects the point guard to be available but at less than 100 percent.
That he is healthy enough to practice with a living legend is surely welcome news for the 76ers.