NBA fans woke up to exciting news this morning when ESPN NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski dropped the the three words every fan has been waiting for: “The NBA’s back.”
Phoenix Suns big man Frank Kaminsky, the lone Badger currently in the NBA, has a new chance to play this season after he had been held out since the end of December with a right patella stress fracture. The former Badger last played an NBA game on December 28, and was having a bounce back season in the valley of the sun before the injury issues.
Per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the format will invite 22 teams to Orlando, and the lucky 13th team in the Western Conference happens to be the Suns. Phoenix should have Kaminsky back when the league resumes play in late July as ArizonaSports.com reported he was fully cleared for basketball activity back on March 11.
So, do the Suns and Kaminsky have any chance of making a playoff run in the new format? The answer is still a slim one, but considerably more of a chance than they did before the NBA suspended his season. The Suns sit 2.5 games outside of the 9 spot with eight regular season games to be played in Orlando. If Phoenix were to land the 9 spot and be within four games of the Western Conference 8 seed, then the Suns would be involved in a play-in tournament for the final playoff spot.
The NBA is all but back, and the only former Badger in the league will be able to play his first games since December. Kaminsky’s Suns will still need a ton of help to get into the NBA playoffs.