How the NBA coronavirus suspension impacts every team in the Eastern Conference

The NBA has suspended its season due to the spread of the coronavirus, and commissioner Adam Silver has said that the hiatus will last at least 30 days. On Sunday night, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that owners and executives are bracing for the possibility of mid-to-late Juneas a best-case scenario for a return.

As the league discusses its next steps, including if and when the 2019-20 season can resume, what could the suspension mean for each franchise?

Our NBA experts are breaking down where each team stood as the league pressed the pause button and what an extended layoff could mean for every Eastern Conference team. On Monday, we examined how the suspension impacts every West team.

Note: The order of teams is based on current conference standings.

MORE: Inside the tense hours that changed the NBA





Milwaukee Bucks

Record: 53-12

Where they stood when the NBA suspended the season

Despite holding the best record in the NBA, the Bucks were in the midst of a three-game losing streak for the first time this season. Milwaukee had never lost three consecutive regular-season games under head coach Mike Budenholzer. Granted, reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpomissed back-to-back games because of a minor joint capsule sprain of his left knee, buthe returned to practice prior to the NBA's suspension.

What an extended layoff could mean

The Bucks were closing in on locking up the Eastern Conference's No. 1 seed but had lost four of their past five games heading into the layoff, so the reset could help them get things back in order to compete for a title if and when the season resumes. Getting Antetokounmpo's knee fully healthy remains Milwaukee's top priority from a basketball standpoint.

-- Eric Woodyard



Toronto Raptors

Record: 46-18

Where they stood when the NBA suspended the season

No team in the NBA had been hotter than the Raptors the past two months. Toronto had gone a league-best 21-4, including winning 15 straight at one point, since Jan. 13. Doing so had allowed Toronto to establish a firm grip on the East's second seed -- all while, like Boston, having a rotating cast of players be sidelined by various ailments.

What an extended layoff could mean

Toronto has, despite its success, desperately needed a chance to get its full roster healthy for a playoff run. This gap in the schedule should allow the Raptors to do that. Given how much confidence this team already has, thanks to its run to the championship last season, the opportunity to get healthy will make Toronto more hopeful of making another deep playoff run.

-- Tim Bontemps



Boston Celtics

Record: 43-21

Where they stood when the NBA suspended the season

Despite a season full of key players rotating in and out of the lineup due to injuries, the Celtics had largely led a charmed life. That is, until the past two weeks, when Boston lost four of its final six games before play was suspended and blew double-digit leads in all of them. Boston's final game, at Indiana on March 10, saw the Celtics blow a 16-point fourth-quarter lead before pulling off a win.

What an extended layoff could mean

The Celtics have had their top five perimeter players -- Kemba Walker, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Gordon Hayward and Marcus Smart -- available in only 14 of the team's 64 games. Presumably, they will be able to emerge from this break, whenever it ends, with their full assortment of players healthy and ready to go. Given how poorly the Celtics were playing prior to the league's hiatus, they won't exactly be losing any momentum by being away from the court for an extended period of time.

-- Bontemps



Miami Heat

Record: 41-24

Where they stood when the NBA suspended the season

The Heat were 6-4 in their past 10 games but just blew a 20-point first-half lead to the lowly Hornets on Wednesday. The Heat had two games against the Bulls and one against the Knicks in the next week, which would likely have gotten them back on track. All-Star small forward Jimmy Butler missed the loss to the Hornets because of a nagging toe injury. The break should allow him to get his body right after a first half in which he helped carry Miami to the top half of the East. Center Meyers Leonard was dealing with an ankle injury. Tyler Herro made his return on March 11 after missing more than a month because of a foot injury.

What an extended layoff could mean

The Heat needed a moment to reset and get healthy prior to making one more big push before the playoffs. The break also allows them to give veteran small forward Andre Iguodala some more practice time to learn his new teammates. Iguodala was acquired just before the trade deadline last month and had played in only 14 games with Miami. The Heat remain two games ahead of the Pacers for the fourth spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race.

-- Nick Friedell



Indiana Pacers

Record: 39-26

Where they stood when the NBA suspended the season

In 10 games since the All-Star break, the Pacers went 7-3. That is good, but during those 10 games, Victor Oladipo mostly continued to struggle, Jeremy Lamb suffered a knee injury and was lost for the season, and Malcolm Brogdon was lost for an indefinite period due to a quad injury.

What an extended layoff could mean

If the Pacers can come back from this break close to whole, they have a chance to be a much bigger factor than anticipated in the playoffs. Oladipo had a brilliant game against the Celtics, but several coaches and scouts who saw him recently thought he would need a full summer off to get back to where he was pre-injury. Perhaps, though, this break will allow him to close the gap. It also will allow Brogdon, who was expected to be out for a few weeks, to potentially be healthy when the league returns.

-- Bontemps



Philadelphia 76ers

Record: 39-26

Where they stood when the NBA suspended the season

In the final game before the league went on hiatus, the Sixers got Joel Embiid back on the court and beat the Pistons to improve to 29-2 at home this season. But here's all anyone needs to know about how Philadelphia's season has gone: The Sixers went six weeks between wins on the road, and at 10-24, they have a worse road record than the Knicks' 10-23 mark.

What an extended layoff could mean

Before that Pistons game, Ben Simmons held a news conference for the first time since he hurt his back on Feb. 22 and said he didn't know when he would be back on the courtor whether he would have to have surgery to fix the nerve impingement in his back. This layoff, from a basketball standpoint, will be all about Simmons. If he can be ready to go whenever the league comes back, the Sixers will have a chance to make the kind of playoff run they hoped to at the start of the season. If not? Those hopes will quickly be extinguished.

-- Bontemps



Brooklyn Nets

Record: 30-34

Where they stood when the NBA suspended the season

The Nets were coming off a big win over the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center before games were put on pause. Brooklyn had played two games under interim coach Jacque Vaughn, who replaced head coach Kenny Atkinson. The Nets won both of those games. At the time games were suspended, the Nets were in the playoff hunt, jockeying for seeding. They have a half-game lead on the Orlando Magic for seventh.

What an extended layoff could mean

The Nets returned home from California on March 12, and staff members have been instructed to work from home. Should any Nets personnel exhibit symptoms of the coronavirus, they will be tested. The time off could mean that the Nets front office has less time to assess Vaughn as a head coach as the team begins to look at potential head coaches for the 2020-21 season. The minimum 30-day postponement of the season is also time for the Nets' injured players -- Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving -- to continue their recoveries. Neither is expected to return in the 2019-20 season, and Durant's business partner, Rich Kleiman, said Monday that hopes of Durant playing in June or July are "not very realistic."

-- Malika Andrews



Orlando Magic

Record: 30-35

Where they stood when the NBA suspended the season

The Magic began the suspension having won three games in a row, including back-to-back impressive road wins in Houston and Memphis. They had a five-game lead on the Wizards for the final spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race and looked poised to take over the seventh spot from the Nets. Terrence Ross was putting up nice scoring numbers off the bench, averaging 22.2 points per game in his past 10, whileNikola Vucevic averaged 21.8 points and 12 rebounds in the same span.

What an extended layoff could mean

Evan Fournier was dealing with a right elbow injury prior to the suspension, but that should be cleared up whenever the NBA returns. As for Jonathan Isaac, he suffered a left knee injury in January and was expected to be lost for the rest of the season. Magic president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman said in an interview last month on ESPN 580 in Orlando that the team wasn't expecting Isaac back, but it's now at least a possibility that he could return, depending how long the stoppage stretches. Al-Farouq Aminu had surgery to replace a torn meniscus in his right knee in early January. He was expected to miss three months; now the door is open for a return.

-- Friedell



Washington Wizards

Record: 24-40

Where they stood when the NBA suspended the season

The Wizards currently sit 5 1/2 games out of the eighth spot in the East. But while they are mathematically still in the playoff race, realistically they are not. The most noteworthy thing about the Wizards this season is the team's defense -- or lack thereof. The Wizards boast the worst defense in the NBA, allowing 115 points per 100, and it's that simple fact that must be the team's focus going forward.

What an extended layoff could mean

Not much, really. John Wall hasn't played since December 2018. If the current season resumes in June, maybe he could be ready to play, but even so, the team would probably play it safe and hold him out. As a team, the Wizards are laser-focused on building via the draft and free agency; they should compete for a playoff spot in 2020-21.

-- Kirk Goldsberry



Charlotte Hornets

Record: 23-42

Where they stood when the NBA suspended the season

Charlotte's offense has been a problem. In their past 15 games, the Hornets rank 28th in the NBA in offensive efficiency and 29th in effective field goal percentage. Why? They can't score without Devonte' Graham. With Graham on the court this season, the Hornets' offense has been bad -- Charlotte has a 107.4 offensive rating with Graham, 25th in the league -- but when he's on the bench, they have been beyond awful. Without Graham, the Hornets manage only 97.1 points per 100, which is a number so low it should raise red flags about the state of the roster. Simply put, the Hornets don't have enough offensive weapons.

What an extended layoff could mean

The layoff shouldn't affect this team much. The Hornets have a team-building challenge looming in the offseason. Graham has been a wonderful surprise, but they need to get better around him.

-- Goldsberry



Chicago Bulls

Record: 22-43

Where they stood when the NBA suspended the season

Despite an eight-game road losing streak, the Bulls improved to 3-2 in their past five home games after topping Cleveland on March 10 in rookie point guard Coby White's first career start. That victory snapped a three-game losing skid for the Bulls, who went 2-13 in the 15 games prior to that win.

What an extended layoff could mean

Even with the hiatus, Chandler Hutchison (shoulder) and Kris Dunn (knee) are likely done for the season, but the additional practice time could give this organization something of an understanding of whether this season was a byproduct of injuries or the current roster pieces truly don't fit together.

-- Woodyard



New York Knicks

Record: 21-45

Where they stood when the NBA suspended the season

Before the season was put on hold, the Knicks had lost six of their past 10 games. There were flashes of bright spots: New York defeated the Rockets at home, and centerMitchell Robinsonwas on pace for the best field goal percentage in NBA history, shooting 74%. Still, the Knicks were teetering on the edge of playoff elimination. Currently, the Knicks have a 9% chance of landing the first pick in the 2020 draft.

What an extended layoff could mean

The only players publicly reported to have tested positive for COVID-19 are on the Utah Jazz and Detroit Pistons. The Knicks played the Utah Jazz on March 4. As a result, the Knicks have been told to self-isolate. As far as basketball operations are concerned, the NBA's minimum 30-day hiatus might allow the Knicks' new president, Leon Rose, time to begin assessing the front-office staff.

-- Andrews



Detroit Pistons

Record: 20-46

Where they stood when the NBA suspended the season

Detroit suffered a 124-106 loss to the 76ers before the suspension, with Joel Embiid going off for 30 points. The Pistons were struggling, with a 1-12 record in their past 13 games, which was the worst win percentage in the NBA in that span. Detroit sits 13th in the East with pretty much no shot of experiencing any postseason action.

What an extended layoff could mean

The league suspension could obviously improve health for the Pistons. Derrick Rose is the Pistons' leading scorer, averaging 18.1 points and 5.6 assists, but he was inactive for four consecutive games due to a Grade 2 ankle sprain. Although the 2011 MVP is having a strong season, this season is certainly a rebuilding one for the Pistons, even with the long break.

-- Woodyard



Atlanta Hawks

Record: 20-47

Where they stood when the NBA suspended the season

Since the All-Star break, the Hawks were 5-6 and quietly playing some better basketball. Their games were still mostly the Trae Youngexperience: fun, entertaining, largely competitive and often unsuccessful. Their issue all season has been figuring out how to be productive when Young sits -- plus sorting out some significant defensive issues when Young is on the floor -- and the close to the season was going to present the chance to work in a major new piece inClint Capela.

What an extended layoff could mean

The Hawks are looking for momentum going into next season. Although they are still a young team, this season has been a considerable disappointment. The Hawks were a trendy Eastern Conference dark horse playoff contender, but after John Collins' early-season 25-game suspension, the bottom fell out quickly. They've played a bit better lately, and with Capela's addition plugging some necessary holes, the time off breaks some -- key word: some -- positive momentum that the Hawks were building.

-- Young



Cleveland Cavaliers

Record: 19-46

Where they stood when the NBA suspended the season

After winning just 14 games before the All-Star break under John Beilein, the Cavaliers were 5-6 in the 11 games coached by J.B. Bickerstaff, who was rewarded on March 10 with a multiyear contract. Second-year shooting guard Collin Sextonkeyed that run, averaging 25.5 points since the All-Star break while making 57% of his 2-point attempts (up from 49% before the break) and 43.1% of his 3s.

What an extended layoff could mean

Assuming teams are able to practice at some point during the suspension of play, the extended period without games could act as a midseason training camp for Bickerstaff to install new schemes at both ends of the court. The extra practice time could also be useful for integrating center Andre Drummond, who was acquired at the trade deadline.

-- Kevin Pelton

Related Video
Where the East contenders stand at the hiatus
Where the East contenders stand at the hiatus
Malika Andrews recaps the Bucks' dominance over most of the Eastern Conference and their surprise challengers in Toronto and Miami.

KD's agent not seeing summer return for Durant
KD's agent not seeing summer return for Durant
Kevin Durant's agent, Rich Kleiman, explains why it is "not very realistic" from his standpoint for Durant to return from injury and play this summer.
Copyright © 2020 ESPN Internet Ventures. All rights reserved.