Make it 11 NBA games postponed this season.
Thursday morning, the Nuggets announced that coach Mike Malone and three players — Jeff Green, Bones Hyland and Zeke Nnaji — entered the league’s health and safety protocols. However, the outbreak was more extensive than that, and throw in the Nuggets injured players — Jamal Murray, Michael Porter Jr. and P.J. Dozier are all out, plus Monte Morris, Aaron Gordon and Austin Rivers were all listed as questionable — and it just became too much.
The NBA officially postponed Thursday’s game with the Denver visiting Golden State because “the Nuggets do not have the league-required eight available players to proceed with the game against the Warriors.”
While the Nuggets could have (and will) sign hardship players out of the G-League, they could not have gotten to Denver in time to play tonight. For those counting along, the NBA is already at 109 temporary contracts this season, and that number is climbing fast.
After consultating with the tireless @KeithSmithNBA, I'm now at 109 NBA hardship deals for 99 players counting Stauskas' looming signing with Miami and Davon Reed's expected THIRD Denver 10-day.
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) December 30, 2021
While some around the league have called for the NBA to hit pause — including Hawks coach Nate McMillan — that will not happen. The NBA has increased testing, is shortening the time positive but asymptomatic players have to quarantine (falling in line with the CDC recommendations), is forcing teams to bring in temporary players when roster guys test positive, and generally is just going to push through this wave. As Commissioner Adam Silver said recently, pausing the league would not solve the problem of players testing positive nor would the virus be gone upon the league’s return.
Not every game can be salvaged, and there is some ugly basketball going on, but the business of the NBA keeps on going. Like many businesses the past couple of years, the league is just trying to get through this the best it can.