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Data: NBA; Table: Axios Visuals

An NBA plan to send 22 teams to Disney World — the top 13 from the West and the top nine from the East — for an eight-game regular season beginning July 31, followed by a postseason, has been approved by the league's board of governors, the NBA announced Thursday.

  • Traditional playoffs: Top eight from each conference, four rounds, etc.
  • Play-in tournament: If the No. 9 seed is within four games of the No. 8 spot, a play-in tournament will be held between the two teams.

What they're saying: A 22-team format that includes regular-season games is "worth several hundred million dollars more in revenue than the 16-team straight-to-playoffs plan," league sources told ESPN.

"While the COVID-19 pandemic presents a formidable challenge, we are hopeful of finishing the season in a safe and responsible manner based on strict protocols now being finalized with public health officials and medical experts. We also recognize that as we prepare to resume play, our society is reeling from recent tragedies of racial violence and injustice, and we will continue to work closely with our teams and players to use our collective resources and influence to address these issues in very real and concrete ways."
— NBA commissioner Adam Silver on the approval of the 22-team format

What's next: The plan now needs a green light from the players' association.

Go deeper: How Disney World could host the NBA

Go deeper

Sep 12, 2020 - Health

Fauci warns U.S. won't return to normal until "well into 2021"

Anthony Fauci testifying before the House Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis in July. Photo: Kevin Dietsch/AFP via Getty Images

Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told MSNBC on Friday that it's unlikely life in the U.S. will go back to normal by the end of 2020, saying pre-coronavirus conditions may not return until "well into 2021, maybe even towards the end of 2021."

Why it matters: Fauci's statements are at odd with recent comments from President Trump, who has repeatedly claimed without evidence that the country is ”rounding the turn” on the coronavirus pandemic.

Perfect storm brewing for extreme politicians

Data: Axios research; Table: Jacque Schrag/Axios

Redistricting and a flood of departing incumbents are paving the way for more extreme candidates in this year's midterm elections.

Driving the news: At least 19 House districts in 12 states are primed to attract such candidates — hard partisans running in strongly partisan districts — according to an Axios analysis of districts as measured by the Cook Political Report's Partisan Voter Index (PVI).

Updated 4 hours ago - Technology

3D printing's next act: big metal objects

Chief Scientist Andy Bayramian makes modifications to the laser system on Seurat's 3D metal printer. Photo courtesy of Seurat Technologies.

A new metal 3D printing technology could revolutionize the way large industrial products like planes and cars are made, reducing the cost and carbon footprint of mass manufacturing.

Why it matters: 3D printing — also called additive manufacturing — has been used since the 1980s to make small plastic parts and prototypes. Metal printing is newer, and the challenge has been figuring out how to make things like large car parts faster and cheaper than traditional methods.