The 17th. This season’s NBA game has been postponed due to the league’s health and safety protocols, and the Wizards’ sixth straight game has been canceled.
On Wednesday, the league cited the number of players not on the Wizards’ roster, continued contact with other players on Washington’s roster and the team’s lack of practice time before the scheduled game.
After a nine-day break due to a coronavirus outbreak in the team, the Wizards were allowed to practice again on Wednesday-evening. But the team only had eight players and, according to coach Scott Brooks, they usually took easy shots.
The Wizards were very concerned not only about the limited number of players available, but also the lack of training and conditioning time after a long break. Washington has been a major player since the 11th hour. January versus Phoenix.
We couldn’t go to the gym during the week, Beal said Wednesday night before the league’s decision to postpone the game. It changes the pace, the shape of the guys – it’s like a recipe for injury, frankly. I think we’re fighting for it.
Beal said he and Russell Westbrook plan to speak with Michel Roberts, executive director of the National Basketball Players Association, about options for securing the Wizards.
Shooter said the Wizards not only wanted to stay injury-free, but the players in the league had mixed feelings about wanting to keep playing and making money while protecting themselves and their loved ones.
We’ve already hurt guys, Beal says. Now a large part of our team, about 50%, has been infected with the virus…. We will hear from the league tonight, we will hear from them tomorrow and we will see what they want to do.
Prior to the postponement, the Wizards moved Davis Bertans, Rui Hachimura, Denny Avdia, Troy Brown Jr., Ish Smith and Moritz Wagner for the game against the Bucks due to health and safety protocols.
Beal, Robin Lopez, Raul Neto, Harrison Matthews, Jerome Robinson, Isaac Bonga, Anthony Gill and Cassius Winston are expected to play in Milwaukee.
Westbrook (quad) was overrated this week and is out for the season, while Thomas Bryant (ACL left) is out for the season. Westbrook did a good job on the field Wednesday night and will travel with the team to continue play on the next road swing. Washington’s next game is scheduled for Sunday in San Antonio.
Brooks said he didn’t know when Westbrook could play again.
Washington’s coach said the team can’t practice until Wednesday night. The Wizards were scheduled to practice again Thursday morning between 3 and 4 p.m. before heading to Milwaukee. Brooks and Beal felt that the Wizards would not only be at a disadvantage by playing with so little practice time, but that they would also be putting their players at risk.
This is going to put us in a very difficult position for Friday night’s game, Brooks said after the team’s light practice. If they force us to play the game, of course we should. I don’t know how we’re going to play the game, but we’ll do our best, whatever the league tells us to do. I believe in the league.
The NBA has postponed Wednesday night’s game between the Memphis Grizzlies and the Portland Trail Blazers until a decision is made on the Wizards’ game with the Bucks.
All around everybody, Mr. Brooks said. It’s not cheating. More than 400,000 Americans have died from this virus. And we take it seriously. It’s obvious you’re worried.
Brooks also predicts that the six Wizards who were eliminated due to health and safety protocols will likely not be able to join the team for the upcoming away games in San Antonio, Houston and New Orleans.
This virus is creative, Brooks said. He figured out how to break in and hit us, and he hit us pretty hard…. It’s going to take some time to get back into shape, and these are the healthy guys. The other actors will need more, but we’ll get there. There are other things in the world that are pretty bad right now.