Los Fresnos News

NBA protocols postpone games

by Landon Jennings

The NBA lost half of last season to Covid-19 pandemic shutdown.  The playoffs were salvaged via postponement, the Bubble and strict health and safety rules.
Better late than never, the current NBA season started just before Christmas.  Unfortunately Covid-19 has not allowed for a smooth start so far.  New Health and Safety Protocols have quarantined and sidelined many players.  Even without positive tests players are sidelined by reported contact.  All of this is an effort to keep players, staff, and their families safe while avoiding a shutdown of the season.
According to NBA.com, any player testing positive is not even allowed to exercise for 10 days and then is monitored for 2 more days in individual workouts.
While a league wide shutdown has not happened, many players have been unavailable for games.  This has disrupted teams’ practice and game plans.  Some players have even been removed during games to enter protocol.
Per NBA rules a team must have 8 available players to participate in a game.  So while many teams have at least some players out, most games have taken place as scheduled.
However, seven games have been postponed due to at least one team not being able to field the required 8 players.  Here is a list of postponed games so far:

  • Dec. 23: Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Houston Rockets
  • Jan. 10: Miami Heat vs. Boston Celtics
  • Jan. 11: New Orleans Pelicans vs. Dallas Mavericks
  • Jan. 12: Boston Celtics vs. Chicago Bulls
  • Jan. 13: Orlando Magic vs. Boston Celtics
  • Jan. 13: Utah Jazz vs. Washington Wizards
  • Jan. 13: Atlanta Hawks vs. Phoenix Suns

More games are expected to be postponed also.  Officially these games are labeled “postponed” but none have been rescheduled yet.  And no announcement has been made of when those decisions will be made.
Hopefully, as more vaccines become available, the League can get a better handle on the situation. 

Right now, NFL playoffs are keeping the national sports audience satisfied.  Soon that will be over and the NBA will take center stage.  When that happens, we want to see epic matchups of stars, not blow outs because half of one team is in quarantine.