NEW YORK, United States, Dec 23 – The NBA announced the postponement of two games on Wednesday because teams hit by Covid-19 could not field the league minimum of eight players to compete.
The league called-off Toronto’s game Wednesday at Chicago because the Raptors could not produce eight healthy players and also Brooklyn’s match Thursday at Portland.
In all, the NBA has postponed nine contests due to Covid-19 issues, with NBA commissioner Adam Silver saying no pause in the season is planned and teams would have to learn to live with the virus.
It was the third consecutive game wiped out for the Covid-hit Brooklyn Nets, whose scheduled games last Sunday against Denver and Tuesday against Washington were also postponed.
Brooklyn has an NBA-high 10 players in Covid-19 health and safety protocols, including NBA scoring leader Kevin Durant and fellow stars James Harden and Kyrie Irving.
Durant, the 2014 NBA Most Valuable Player, is averaging 29.7 points, 7.9 rebounds and 5.9 assists a game for the Nets while Harden, the 2018 NBA MVP, ranks second in the league with 9.6 assists a game while also averaging 20.8 points and 7.9 rebounds a contest.
The Nets had just allowed Irving, who has not been vaccinated, back onto the roster, saying he would practice with the club and play in road games. New York Covid-19 safety rules would not allow him to play in home games while unvaccinated.
The next scheduled game for the Nets is on Saturday in a Christmas contest against the Los Angeles Lakers.
Silver has said the league is looking into rules that would make it easier for clubs to utilize players from developmental club rosters to fill out their lineups when numerous players are forced into Covid-19 isolation.