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NBA

NBA announces seeding games will not impact end-of-season awards

In a league memo sent out to all 30 teams Friday, the NBA announced that seeding games will not be taken into consideration for any postseason awards, including All-NBA teams, MVP, Rookie of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year and Coach of the Year.

The news was reported Friday by The Athletic's Shams Charania and confirmed by Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press, who obtained a copy of the memo that was sent out.

According to Reynolds' report, voting for end-of-season awards will be completed prior to the July 30 restart of the season at Walt Disney World.

In its memo, the NBA wrote that "the decision to exclude seeding games from awards voting ensures a fair process in which players and coaches from all 30 teams will have the same opportunity to be honoured as top performers for the regular season."

While awards races will not be impacted by seeding games, the league added that statistical championships, such as scoring, rebounding, assist and steal titles will still be affected by the remaining eight seeding games but as Reynolds reported, essentially each category has been mathematically decided.

Houston's James Harden has a commanding lead in the scoring race as he closes in on his third consecutive title in that category -- and becomes the seventh player in NBA history to win the scoring crown in at least three straight seasons.

Cleveland's Andre Drummond has a sizable lead in the race for the rebound title. LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers would remain ahead of second-place Trae Young of the Atlanta Hawks in the assist-per-game race even if James plays in all eight seeding games and doesn't register a single assist.

The steals race is still uncertain; Philadelphia's Ben Simmons leads at 2.13 per game, while Chicago's Kris Dunn - currently in second place - finished his season at 1.98 per game.

The NBA season resumes on Thursday, July 30 with a two-game slate that features the Utah Jazz taking on the New Orleans Pelicans followed by a game between the LA Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers.

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