NBA: 16 players tested positive for coronavirus in last eight days

Celtics forward Jayson Tatum and 76ers guard Seth Curry
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
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The NBA is tightening its coronavirus protocols as cases are up within in the league.

Just how bad is the damage?

NBA release:

Of the 497 players tested for COVID-19 since Jan. 6, 16 new players have returned confirmed positive tests.

Among the 16:

Celtics center Robert Williams and Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr. also tested positive for coronavirus. However, it is unclear whether they’re included among these 16 or last week’s four cases.

NBA players have now had at least 133 cases – and almost certainly many more – of coronavirus. (Some players might have contracted the virus twice.) These are huge numbers.

However, it’s worth remembering 48 players tested positive during the league’s initial round of testing this season – which covered when players were outside the protocols. Though that encompassed a longer timeframe, 16 is way less than 48. The NBA’s protocols are clearly working better to prevent the spread of coronavirus than when players were left to their own devices.

But that’s not some grand victory.

All these positive tests lead to contact tracing, which means more postponements.

NBA:

The National Basketball Association games scheduled for Friday, Jan. 15 between the Washington Wizards and Detroit Pistons [in Detroit] and between the Golden State Warriors and Phoenix Suns at Phoenix Suns Arena have been postponed in accordance with the league’s Health and Safety Protocols.

Because of ongoing contact tracing within the Wizards and Suns, the teams will not have the league-required eight available players to proceed with Friday night’s games.