More NBA games have been postponed.
On Wednesday, the NBA announced that Thursday’s meeting between the Nets and Trail Blazers has been postponed because Brooklyn doesn’t have the “league-required eight available players to proceed with the game.”
The following has been released by the NBA. pic.twitter.com/oDJ1DPFlsL
— NBA Communications (@NBAPR) December 22, 2021
The Nets currently have multiple players in the NBA’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols, including Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.
This will mark the third straight game the Nets have had postponed.
Will the Nets play Lakers on Christmas Day?
The next game on the schedule for the Nets is a Christmas Day matchup with the Lakers.
There’s no word yet on whether or not that game will be postponed, but ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Tuesday that the NBA told teams that are playing on Christmas Day to “be prepared for game times to shift as late as Dec. 24” in a memo.
The NBA told Christmas Day teams to be prepared for game times to shift as late as Dec. 24 with a priority on filling the ABC windows of 2:30 PM ET, 5 PM and 8 PM, according to memo shared with the 10 teams playing on Saturday.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) December 21, 2021
NBA commissioner Adam Silver appeared on ESPN’s “NBA Today” later in the day and said that “as of now, our plan is to move forward not just for the Christmas Day games, but there are another roughly 23 games scheduled between now and Christmas.”
“Every day is a new day,” Silver continued. “We get the overnight testing. We look where we are in terms of our rosters and make our decisions. But at least, as I said, it seems for us the right and responsible thing to do taking all the factors into consideration is to continue to play.”
The Nets had three players exit protocols on Dec. 23 in James Harden, Paul Millsap and Jevon Carter, but it doesn’t sound like the team is expecting anyone else to be cleared before Christmas Day.
“We are not expecting anyone else to come out of protocols [in time for the Christmas Day game], but it is possible,” Nets head coach Steve Nash said on Thursday.
“I think you have to do two negative tests 24 hours apart. I guess that gives us to tonight and tomorrow night to return two negatives, but we are not predicting anybody to come out necessarily.”
As TSN’s Gilbert McGregor explained, if any player tests positive for COVID-19, they must spend a minimum of 10 days away from their team unless they return two negative PCR tests within a 24-hour span.
Unvaccinated players who are flagged for contact tracing must quarantine for seven days and can return to action should they continue to return negative tests. In most cases, vaccinated players who are flagged for contact tracing will not be required to quarantine, but need seven days of more frequent testing.
In addition to receiving clearance from the league, individual teams can implement a return-to-play program to ensure a player is prepared for the cardiovascular demands of getting back on the floor.
According to ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk, the Nets plan to fly to Los Angeles on Friday and are expected to have at least eight players.
“We have enough to play,” Nash said. “I think we signed four G League guys. So we have plenty to get to eight.”