The NBA is starting to look like pickup basketball after Sunday’s Sixers-Thunder game was postponed due to a lack of players.
The teams were scheduled to tip off at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City but had to cancel when Philadelphia announced they did not have the minimum eight players required.
The NBA has now postponed 14 games due to COVID-19 in the first month of the season.
The following has been announced by the NBA. pic.twitter.com/AXOrbJZQrY
— NBA (@NBA) January 17, 2021
Philadelphia had at least six players out due to the league’s health and safety protocols, in addition to Vincent Poirier and Seth Curry, who tested positive for COVID.
Joel Embiid and Mike Scott were already scheduled not to fly for the Sixers-Thunder matchup due to right knee pain and soreness.
The league introduced new protocols last week, including keeping players and coaches isolated when they are not practicing or playing and increasing mask use for everyone.
The latest cancellations are a stark contrast to the league’s exemplary record during last summer’s bubble play in Orlando.
Still, as the coronavirus ravages the United States with close to 24 million people diagnosed, the NBA can only expect the league will also suffer a substantial amount of infections.
The league has not discussed postponing the season or resorting back to a bubble-style environment.
Still, as the number of postponed games increases, fans can expect that commissioner Adam Silver will be weighing all options.