Celtics vs Heat postponed by NBA after contact tracing left Miami with fewer than eight players available

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The Boston Celtics were going to be severely shorthanded for their game against the Miami Heat on Sunday night. On their official injury report, the Celtics have listed a total of nine players against the Heat. Seven of those absences – Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Tristan Thompson, Semi Ojeleye, Grant Williams, Robert Williams and Javonte Green – are due to players being placed in league health and safety protocols in the middle of the game. ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Tatum and Robert Williams have both reportedly tested positive for the virus. Two other players – Kemba Walker and Romeo Langford – were due to be eliminated due to injury concerns.

With all of those players sidelined, the Celtics would have only had eight players available to face the Heat on Sunday. Those eight players are Tacko Fall, Aaron Nesmith, Payton Pritchard, Marcus Smart, Daniel Theis, Tremont Waters, Carsen Edwards and Jeff Teague.

As the league plans to allow the Celtics to advance and play tonight’s game with this eight-man roster, Shams Charania de l’Athletic reports that the game was postponed after an unidentified Heat player returned an inconclusive COVID-19 test leaving Miami with fewer than eight available players mandated by the league to compete due to contact tracing.

Shortly after Charania and Wojnarowski’s reports, the league released a statement officially announcing the postponement, pointing out that the Heat did not have enough players to field an eight-man roster due to contact tracing.

“The National Basketball Association game scheduled for tonight between the Miami Heat and the Boston Celtics at TD Garden has been postponed in accordance with league health and safety protocols.

Due to the ongoing search for contact with the Heat, the team do not have the eight available players required by the league to continue tonight’s game against the Celtics. ”

League spokesperson Mike Bass also offered the following statement to Sopan Deb of the New York Times after the announcement of the postponement of the contest between Miami and Boston.

“We expected there would be game postponements this season and have planned this season accordingly. There are no plans to suspend the season. We will continue to be guided by our medical experts and our health and safety protocols. ”

Despite the postponement, Adrian Wojnarowski d’ESPN.com reports that the league has no plans to suspend the season at this time, even though membership across the league has declined due to COVID-19 protocols in several locations.



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