With the NBA restart in Orlando moving ever closer toward the conclusion of its seeding games, there are still plenty of unanswered questions remaining about playoff positioning and which teams in the West will be fighting for a postseason berth, as the race for the No. 8 seed has grown increasingly complicated.
We’ve had a lot of pleasant surprises from teams and players who have had unexpected success so far in Orlando and have certainly made the most of a unique opportunity that has presented all sorts of challenges, logistical and otherwise. But because the bubble is very much its own thing, the league said earlier this month that its annual awards would be decided by the performances prior to the shutdown in April. They announced the finalists for those awards this week.
Thankfully, the bubble will now have its own set of awards that will honor the standout players who have made their mark in Orlando through the eight seeding games. The NBA announced on Tuesday that it will have its own version of the All-NBA teams and will even select a Player of Seeding Games, similar to the regular-season MVP award.
A panel of sportswriters and broadcasters who have been on site covering the season restart will select the Kia NBA All-Seeding Games Team and the Kia NBA Player of the Seeding Games. The media panel will vote for five players for the All-Seeding Games First Team and five players for the All-Seeding Games Second Team, choosing a total of 10 players at any position from either conference.
The main difference here is that there will be two teams instead of the usual three like in the All-NBA awards, but the logic follows that there are fewer teams to choose from, 22 rather than the usual 30 during the regular season.
Still, there have been a host of players who have been exceptional in Orlando so far — Devin Booker, Luka Doncic, T.J. Warren, Michael Porter Jr., Damian Lillard, just to name a few — that deserve the recognition, so credit to the NBA for creating a scenario that will acknowledge their performances during one of the most unique scenarios the league or the players have ever seen.