The Boston Celtics have nine players out, leaving them with the bare minimum of eight active players who can dress for the game. Still, the Celtics were ready to go Sunday.
However, after a Heat player had an inconclusive test, Miami will now be short of eight players, leading Sunday’s game to be postponed, a story broken by Shams Charania of The Athletic and confirmed by the league itself.
The Heat player with the inconclusive test will be re-tested. However, the team must still go through contact tracing as if the player tested positive (to be safe), meaning a number of other players would be quarantined and unable to play due to contact with the potentially infected player.
From the NBA’s official release: “Because of ongoing contact tracing with the Heat, the team does not have the league-required eight available players to proceed with tonight’s game against the Celtics.”
Miami plays at Philadelphia Tuesday and Thursday, those games are also in jeopardy (if the player with the inconclusive test turns out to be positive).
Any postponed games will be made up in the second half of the season (that part of the schedule has not been released).
This will be the second postponed NBA game this season (Houston and Oklahoma City on their opening nights). There have been other close calls as well, including Philadelphia on Saturday.
Just don’t think this is going to lead to the league taking a pause.