Against all odds, the NBA bubble was a success
What the NBA was able to pull off in the bubble was nothing short of miraculous. They had zero positive tests over the three-and-a-half-month period of teams staying at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando Florida.
It’s hard to believe that the NBA season has finally come to an end, nearly a full year after the season tipped off. Lebron James and the Los Angeles Lakers were able to reign supreme, taking home the NBA Title.
The bubble, however, went through its rough times, but the NBA had protocols in place to ensure that there would not be a COVID-19 outbreak if a positive test occurred.
Incidents such as Lou Williams leaving the bubble to attend a family member’s funeral, only to be found partying at a strip club with Jack Harlow. Or Danuel House getting kicked out of the bubble in the middle of the playoffs for having an unidentified female in his room.
On the basketball side of things, the product didn’t skip a beat. On television, it was hard to remember that fans (for the most part) were not in attendance. The NBA even had the cheesy video boards where you could be a virtual fan and have your face projected on the screen. On the court, the play was at the highest level. This could be due to there being no travel, no distractions off the court and for role players, no fans being in attendance.
The bubble also provided some fun breakout performances for both stars and role players. Damian Lillard solidified his status as a top guard in the league, leading the Blazers to the playoffs when most had counted them out.
No one can forget what TJ Warren did in the bubble. In his first five games in the bubble, he averaged almost 35 points per game on 61 percent shooting from the field. He was arguably the biggest bubble revelation.
A few other players that saw their stock rise were Devin Booker, Michael Porter Jr. and Gary Trent Jr. Booker showed that he has taken the next step to lead the Suns to the playoffs. Porter Jr. showed his star potential that had been questioned after his back injury in college. While Trent Jr. showed that he is one of the league’s premier shooters.
Even though we didn’t get the battle of Los Angeles in the playoffs, the playoffs were still highly entertaining. It’s hard to know how much no home courts affected some of these teams, as the Eastern Conference Finals didn’t feature the one or two seed in the conference. The fifth seed Miami Heat represented the East in the finals, making them one of the bigger underdog stories in quite some time.
With the season ending, it was nice to have basketball back in our lives and finish out the season. With that being said, it is unclear when the NBA will be back. The earliest that has been reported is January 2021, as the NBA wants to have fans back in attendance for the 2021 season. While we wait for confirmation, fans should appreciate what the bubble provided and how well it was executed by the NBA.