The Boston Celtics still do not have enough players available to play in a basketball game, which has led to the league postponing its game against the Orlando Magic, which was slated to take place Wednesday night at TD Garden in Boston. This is the third consecutive game for the Celtics that has been postponed, and the second one due to them not having enough players.
Boston currently has nine players who are listed as out, seven of which are due to the league’s health and safety protocols. Those seven players are: Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Tristan Thompson, Semi Ojeleye, Grant Williams, Robert Williams and Javonte Green.
Additionally, the NBA has announced that it is postponing Wednesday’s game between the Utah Jazz and Washington Wizards. The Wizards are dealing with a combination of both typical injuries and COVID-19-related absences. Russell Westbrook is out with a quad injury, Thomas Bryant tore his ACL last week, and Rui Hachimura and Mo Wagner are both out due to the league’s health and safety protocols. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Wizards have two more players out due to contact tracing.
The league is currently addressing its COVID-19 protocols, as several teams across the league are dealing with outbreaks, leading to five postponed games in the past week. The NBA has no intention of pausing the season, but would rather implement stricter guidelines and safety measures during games and practices. The league and the player’s union are discussing the idea of a minimum two-week protocol tightening, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. That would include no hugging or interactions with opposing players before and after games, reducing social interactions between players during games and stricter enforcement of mask-wearing by players and coaches during games.
Boston’s outbreak was first reported last Friday, when when the team announced that Thompson, Grant Williams and Robert Williams would all be out due to health and safety protocols. Robert Williams reportedly tested positive for COVID-19, and after contact tracing it was concluded that the other two players needed to isolate as well. That then snowballed into Jayson Tatum also needing to quarantine on Saturday, followed by another handful of players who would be out in the Celtics game against the Miami Heat last Sunday. However, due to Miami not having enough players to suit up, that game was postponed.