And this makes six for the season.
Because of a positive test and contact tracing among the Washington Wizards, the Wednesday night matchup between Utah and Washington has been postponed, the league announced.
“Because of ongoing contact tracing with the Wizards, the team does not have the league-required eight available players to proceed with tomorrow’s game against the Jazz,” the league said in a statement. The game will be made up in the second half of the season.
Two Wizards players — Rui Hachimura and Moe Wagner — are already in the leagues’ COVID-19 protocol process, and contact tracing has ruled out enough other teammates to postpone the game.
The Wizards play again Friday night in Detroit; there is no word on that game’s status yet.
The NBA had one game postponed at the start of the season between Houston and Oklahoma City, and now has had a rash of five postponements announced in recent days. Boston makes up three of them. And that does not count games where teams had to play with very short benches because of the coronavirus sidelining players.
To help stem the tide, NBA team officials, owners, the players union, and executives from the league office have come up with a new set of protocols for the next couple of weeks (and potentially longer, depending on the state of the virus around the league). Among them are more stringent mask-wearing guidelines (including in the locker room), no postgame hugging, no hotel room guests, no leaving the hotel on the road except for team activities, and it asks players to stay in their house when at home.
Will that work? Who knows, but the league needs to take steps to slow the spread of the disease as it tries to complete the season.