(AFP) – The National Basketball Association (NBA) has rescheduled all 11 games that were postponed in December due to virus reasons and either changed the times or dates of 10 other games to help accommodate these changes.
Toronto affected six, Chicago affected five, and Brooklyn played four. In all, the dates of at least 18 of the league’s 30 teams have been changed due to future postponements or modifications, all of which were revealed on Monday.
The National Basketball Association (NBA) today announced the rescheduling of 11 games that were postponed in December due to the impact of the COVID-19 virus. pic.twitter.com/MJyiNesT5P
– NBA Communications (NBAPR) January 3, 2022
There are now seven teams that have at least one term to play four games in five nights: Chicago, Toronto, Brooklyn, Cleveland, Miami, New Orleans and Denver. The original NBA schedule did not call for any such extensions, although it was inevitable with the changes.
“The goal and priority here was to avoid teams playing three games on three nights and look for a middle approach,” said Evan Wash, the NBA’s executive vice president who helps oversee the league schedule.
The Nets – who were unable to play in Portland last month because they lost nearly a dozen players with virus-related issues – have an unusual schedule coming up next week.
On Sunday, Brooklyn plays San Antonio at home — then flies across the country to play the game that has been rescheduled in Portland for the next day, January 10. The Nets then return to the East and visit Chicago on January 12th.
To help meet the requirements of the Portland trip, the NBA moved Sunday’s Tottenham game to noon Eastern. The teams were scheduled to play a game night, but now the Nets are supposed to be in Portland by late Sunday night.
Wash said there were two other options for this Nets-Blazers match, but playing it on January 10 was the best for all involved.
“The main reason to release it now is because we wanted to make sure that teams had at least one week’s notice of any postponements, from a travel perspective, basketball planning, business, ticket sales, all of that stuff,” Wash said. “It made sense to do it now.”
Wach said the postponed games could have simply been hooked up to the calendar, but moving the other games opened up more possibilities and avoided the dreaded three-game nights of three. Wash said the league began working on potential changes as soon as the first postponements occurred.
“We also didn’t want to cause a major disruption to the current schedule,” Wash said.
Among other changes: the expected return of former Raptors guard Kyle Lowry to Toronto. It was scheduled to take place on February 3 and will now happen on February 1, with Miami now slated to make its debut there this season. It remains unclear if fans will be in that match. Ontario officials have a limited attendance of 1,000 people at the Raptors Arena.
And the shortest All-Star break for Brooklyn and Washington is one day, with the league rescheduling the Wizards at Nets game postponed to February 17.
The NBA had just under 90 players known to be on coronavirus-related health and safety protocols on Monday afternoon, a significant drop from the middle of last week when the roster peaked at 125 players. There are also dozens of other team personnel in the protocols, including some coaches.
“We think we’re kind of over the hump in terms of the meat of the delays,” Wash said. But we certainly don’t expect another rush from them like we’ve had, and so we thought it made sense to put those 11 games back into the schedule.”
Deferred game changes, listed in original table order:
• Detroit in Chicago, scheduled for December 14, will be held on January 10.
• Chicago in Toronto, scheduled for December 16, will be held on February 3.
• New Orleans in Philadelphia, scheduled for December 19, will be held on January 25.
• Denver in Brooklyn, scheduled for December 19, will play January 26.
• Cleveland will play in Atlanta, scheduled for December 19, March 31.
• Orlando in Toronto, scheduled for December 20, will be held on March 4.
• Washington in Brooklyn, scheduled for December 21, will be held on February 17.
• Chicago in Toronto, scheduled for December 22, will be held on January 26.
• Brooklyn in Portland, scheduled for December 23, will be held on January 10.
• Miami in San Antonio, scheduled for December 29, will take place on February 3.
• Golden State in Denver, scheduled for December 30, will take place on March 7.
• Phoenix in Detroit, scheduled for January 12, will be held on January 16.
• Philadelphia in Houston, scheduled for January 24, will be held on January 10.
• Chicago in Atlanta, scheduled for January 24, will take place on March 3.
• Chicago in Oklahoma City, scheduled for January 26, will be held on January 24.
• Toronto in Brooklyn, scheduled for January 26, will be held on February 28.
• Denver in New Orleans, scheduled for January 26, will be held on January 28.
• Toronto in Atlanta, scheduled for February 1, will be held on January 31.
• Miami in Toronto, scheduled for February 3, will be held on February 1.
• San Antonio in Brooklyn, January 9, moved to noon Eastern (it was 7:30 p.m.)
• Boston in New Orleans, January 29, moved to 7 PM ET (it was 6 PM)