Saturday, September 23, 2023
26 C
Brunei Town
- Advertisement -

NBA postpones Heat-Spurs, after Miami has COVID outbreak

MIAMI (AP) – The NBA postponed Wednesday’s game between Miami and San Antonio after a combination of injuries and positive COVID-19 tests left the Heat unable to meet the league’s requirement of eight available players.

It was the 10th game postponed in the NBA this season because of virus-related issues. None has been rescheduled at this point.

Miami had 12 players listed as out for the game against the Spurs for a variety of reasons. The Heat beat Washington on Wednesday with eight players available – and of those, only five would have been able to play in San Antonio.

Gabe Vincent, who played 35 minutes in Tuesday’s win, learned after the game that he had a positive test and couldn’t travel. Jimmy Butler was ruled out for Wednesday after spraining his right ankle with about a minute left in the Wizards’ game and KZ Okpala was unable to play because of an injury he sustained on Tuesday as well.

The Heat also added PJ Tucker and and Zylan Cheatham, neither of whom played on Tuesday, to the health and safety protocols. And Tuesday’s game came after Miami guard Max Strus – who had been feeling no symptoms – was pulled after he warmed up, because of a positive test that required him to enter the protocols.

“That’s the perplexing thing about this right now, this variant,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “I think we’ve gotten to a point – I’ve said it before – we need more information. Are there more asymptomatic cases? All of this is with the caveat of double vaccination, with a booster and then asymptomatic, what does that mean and what adjustments can we make there? I think it leads to a lot of confusion.”

Miami had tried to get roster help on Wednesday – ironically – from the Austin Spurs, San Antonio’s G League affiliate, in part because those players could get to San Antonio relatively quickly and in time to play on Wednesday. Miami was in the process of signing Austin centre Aric Holman to a hardship contract, and it likely will need more reinforcements before its next scheduled game tonight in Houston.

Almost every team in the NBA has been dealing with a virus-related issue in recent days, with 119 players known to be in the protocols by Wednesday evening. That figure, which changes often as players test in and out, does not include coaches, staff and others in the protocols – including referees.

The NBA said on Wednesday that referee Justin Van Duyne had entered protocols, leaving the league with a two-man crew to work the game between Phoenix and Oklahoma City.

- Advertisement -

Latest article