For the third time the Celtics have had a game postponed due positive COVID tests as the C's and the NBA as a whole has had a massive outbreak which has forced teams to play with eight players at the bare minimum or having to reschedule games all together.
Currently, the Celtics have four players that are in self-isolation and while the Celtics do have enough players to play a game, the contact tracing and other health protocols are preventing the Celtics from playing. Their game against the Chicago Bulls set for Tuesday was postponed sighting an issue with the Bulls health and safety protocols. The Philadelphia 76ers have had to play games with a limited roster, however they did have the required amount of players to play in a game which is why the league did not reschedule their games.
Much like Major League Baseball and the National Football league; the NBA is going through an early season COVID outbreak. In baseball, the Miami Marlins missed a week due to their outbreak, and the St. Louis Cardinals missed 17 days due ti their outbreak. Afterwards the league was finally able to right the ship and did not suffer any other major outbreaks.
In the NFL, the Tennessee Titans were forced to close their facility for 16 days while they dealt with an outbreak. The Patriots had a total of two practices in a 14 day period while their facility was closed due to an outbreak. The Denver Broncos played a game without a quarterback, the Cleveland Browns played a game without any of their wide receivers, and just this past weekend, the Browns played a playoff game without their head coach, and yet still found a way to win.
The NBA obviously has a smaller roster size and the players are constantly in close contact with one another. A recent report from ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski suggests that there have been players around the league that have tested positive twice.
Right now that is not the case with the Celtics but guys like Jayson Tatum, Grant Williams, Robert Williams and Tristian Thompson are all in self-isolation. Tatum is the leading scorer for the Celtics through the first 10 games of the season. However, good news for the Celtics is that Thompson and Grant Williams are out of contact tracing and are available to come out of isolation Friday, prior to their originally scheduled game against the Orlando Magic in Boston. While the status of Friday's game remains unclear, the fact that the Celtics will be getting two bodies back will be huge.
The Celtics were short handed to being with as Kemba Walker has yet to play a game this season due to a nagging knee injury, Romeo Lanford has been out with a wrist injury and Jeff Teague has been out with an ankle injury. Good news about Walker that his knee seems to be feeling great and could potentially make his season debut on Friday night, but that will be up to the medical staff.
The Celtics are not the first team to go through this, and they certainly won't be the last. However, it is key to get guys back as soon as possible. The Celtics have Tatum and Robin Williams in contact tracing procedures, Thompson and Grant Williams nearing the end of their isolation, along with injuries. Add all that up, the Celtics have seven players out.
Friday night's game isn't postponed as of yet, but it is doubt depending on the situation with the Magic and the rest of the league as well. The NBA has publicly said that they have no plans to shut down the league.
Hopefully NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman is taking notes so the league is prepared to deal with a COVID outbreak amongst a team once the season gets underway on Wednesday evening.
The Celtics are hopeful that they can start to get their players back and get back to playing basketball. The C's haven't played a game since last Friday when they beat the Washington Wizards.