NBA postpones games at Dallas and Chicago due to COVID-19

2021-01-12 12:06:22

Chicago Bulls forward Daniel Gafford (12) dunks the ball as LA Clippers center Ivica Zubac (40) and guard Paul George (13) watch in the second quarter at Staples Center. [Photo/Agencies] NEW YORK - Two more NBA games were postponed by the league on Monday due to COVID-19 and contract tracing issues, bringing the total to four in the virus-shortened 2020-21 season. The New Orleans Pelicans game at Dallas on Monday and the Boston Celtics game Tuesday at Chicago were both delayed over unspecified health and safety protocol issues. The league also said it would meet with the National Basketball Players Association on Monday about possible modifications in the joint safety protocols. There has been concern expressed by coaches about the health and safety of players being forced into playing unusually high numbers of minutes due to depleted rosters being forced to take the court. The latest postponements will mark three consecutive days of lost games for the NBA after Miami's matchup on Sunday against Boston was called off because the Heat were unable to field a minimum eight players due to COVID-19 issues. The Celtics had been reduced to the minimum eight players by virus issues with seven players missing due to the virus or contact tracing. The Heat remain in Boston and are still scheduled to play Tuesday at Philadlephia, but the 76ers had only a minimum eight available players, just seven of them healthy, for a home loss Saturday to Denver. The 76ers were fined $25,000 by the NBA on Monday for violating the league injury reporting rules when failing to list Australian guard Ben Simmons on an initial Saturday injury report for the loss to Denver. Simmons was out with knee issues while Cameroon big man Joel Embiid was sidelined by back stiffness. The first NBA game to be postponed this season due to COVID-19 issues was on December 23 between Oklahoma City at Houston. Dallas has three players listed as out due to the NBA COVID-19 protocols -- Jalen Brunson, Josh Richardson and Dorian Finney-Smith -- and Maxi Kleber listed as questionable for the same reason. AFP