Though the NBA is attempting to push forward normally, the league had to postpone yet another game due to the COVID-19 pandemic on Monday night.
This time, though, the announcement came just hours before the game was initially scheduled to tip.
The NBA postponed the New Orleans Pelicans game with the San Antonio Spurs at the Smoothie King Center on Monday. Both teams, the league said, did not have the required number of players needed to compete due to contact tracing within both organizations.
The NBA has just announced its 22nd postponement of the season: San Antonio at New Orleans tonight is off: pic.twitter.com/hk2Vo13Lb6
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) January 26, 2021
The postponement marks the 22nd related to the coronavirus so far this season — all but one of which have come this month. The NBA called off a fifth straight Memphis Grizzlies game on Sunday afternoon due to an outbreak within their organization, and the Washington Wizards returned to play Sunday after a 13-day hiatus.
Both Kawhi Leonard and Paul George were ruled out for the Los Angeles Clippers’ Tuesday night game against the Atlanta Hawks due to the league’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols. The two stars’ absence could prove difficult for the Clippers, who have six road games over the next nine days.
The country is averaging more than 170,000 new cases a day, according to The New York Times, which is significantly lower than it was in early January. The United States is still averaging more than 3,000 deaths a day, however, and surpassed the 4,000-death mark twice last week.
Despite the clear struggles with the pandemic, the league is reportedly in discussions with the players’ association about holding an All-Star game in Atlanta in March.
The Spurs, who beat the Wizards on Sunday night, are next set to host the Boston Celtics on Wednesday. The Pelicans fell to the Timberwolves on Saturday, and will next host the Wizards on Wednesday.
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