The NBA’s health and safety protocols set in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic is slowly taking a drastic toll on various teams, this season. Positive test results coupled with contact tracing has eliminated so many healthy NBA players that it’s led to the postponement of three games in two days for teams such as the Celtics, the Mavericks, and the Miami Heat.
The Celtics, victims of seeing back-to-back games postponed, entered TD Garden on Sunday with just over the bare minimum amount of players (8) to take on the Miami Heat before a player from the Heat took a COVID-19 test, and his results were inconclusive. However, because of the league’s new strict health and safety protocols, even for players that aren’t exposed to the virus itself, the Heat were unable to meet the eight-player minimum for Sunday’s game.
Source On Monday’s NBA GMs’ Conference Call: ‘Further Restrictions On Restaurant Dining And Tighter Rules On Mask-Wearing’
Now, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, as of Monday morning, the Celtics joined the list of teams unable to meet the league’s required eight-player minimum for Tuesday’s meeting with the Bulls, according to one source.
“NBA has postponed Celtics-Bulls on Tuesday too, Woj reported. “League says. Source says Boston remains short the necessary players.”
NBA has postponed Celtics-Bulls on Tuesday too, league says. Source says Boston remains short the necessary players.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 11, 2021
The known NBA news bomb-dropper also reported that the league’s general managers held a conference call on Monday. In hopes of tightening protocols that would prevent postponing games in the future, sources told ESPN, the call’s focus was also on how players condone themselves on and off the court.
“Among topics for GM call today centered on tightening protocols, sources tell ESPN,” Wojnarowski tweeted. “Re-examining shootarounds and practice lengths, pre-and-post game socializing on court (for example, hugs), further restrictions on restaurant dining and tighter rules on mask-wearing.”
NBA’s Board Of Governors Plan To Meet Tuesday: ‘There Are No Plans To Pause The Season’
According to Woj, the NBA has also set a Board of Governors meeting for Tuesday, per ESPN sources. NBA spokesman Mike Brass told ESPN the league anticipated the postponement of games at this point of the season and added the association’s plans of continuing the regular season without stoppage, at any point, still stands.
“We anticipated that there would be game postponements this season and planned the schedule accordingly,” Brass told ESPN in a statement. “There are no plans to pause the season, and we will continue to be guided by our medical experts and health and safety protocols.”
The NBA has postponed four games this season, three of which have happened within the past two days – which rightly deems an outbreak is imminent. Next up on the schedule for the Celtics; is the Orlando Magic.
If Boston is able to meet the required eight-man roster minimum on Wednesday; the tip-off is at TD Garden.