Sunday’s game between the Boston Celtics and the Miami Heat has been postponed due to COVID-19 issues, the NBA announced. The Heat don’t have enough players due to contact tracing after someone returned an inconclusive COVID-19 test.
Officially announced. Second postponement of the season. pic.twitter.com/ebM3KCSbcJ
— Brad Townsend (@townbrad) January 10, 2021
The Heat are the reason behind the postponement, but it absolutely could have been the Celtics. The Celtics’ injury report on Sunday was absurd. Nine players were listed as out, and seven of them were due to the NBA’s COVID-19 protocols.
The Celtics announce all nine players on the injury report – Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Javonte Green, Semi Ojeleye, Tristan Thompson, Grant Williams, Robert Williams, Romeo Langford and Kemba Walker – are all out tonight. The first seven guys are out due to NBA protocols.
— Tim Bontemps (@TimBontemps) January 10, 2021
The Celtics were down to the NBA minimum of eight players, which is exactly where the Philadelphia 76ers were on Saturday night. The Sixers did have to play the Denver Nuggets, losing 115-103.
NBA: There are no plans to pause the season
This postponement is the second since the NBA’s season kicked off three weeks ago, and teams are having an increasingly difficult time dealing with COVID-19 protocols and keeping their players out of quarantine. The Dallas Mavericks had to shut down their facility on Sunday, too, after another positive test.
The problems aren’t just limited to the NBA, either. The United States is averaging more than 253,000 new cases of the coronavirus a day over the past week, according to The New York Times, and more than 3,000 deaths attributed to the virus a day. The country set two new all-time records last week, recording more than 4,000 deaths on Wednesday and more than 300,000 new cases on Thursday alone.
Despite the spikes in cases and deaths and clear struggles in the NBA, the league said Sunday that it is not considering pausing the season.
“We anticipated that there would be game postponements this season and planned this season accordingly. There are no plans to pause the season,” league spokesman Mike Bass told The New York Times’ Sopan Deb. “We will continue to be guided by our medical experts and our health and safety protocols.”
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