Jazz Confident In NBA COVID Protocols
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The NBA is undergoing its first real scheduling shakeup due to COVID-19 exposure and safety protocols.
On Monday, it was announced the league was suspending the matchup game between the New Orleans Pelicans and Dallas Mavericks, a day after the Miami Heat and Boston Celtics had their game postponed.
The league will also suspend Tuesday’s meeting between the Celtics and the Chicago Bulls. Previously, the league had postponed a game between the Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder on the second night of the season.
Despite the growing fear of postponements, Utah Jazz head coach Quin Snyder and All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell said they were confident in the league’s COVID safety protocols.
The NBA has postponed two additional games due to COVID related issues. https://t.co/uaT02cu7Jo
— KSL Sports (@kslsports) January 11, 2021
Jazz Confident In NBA COVID Safety Protocols
On Sunday, both Snyder and Mitchell discussed the NBA’s COVID safety protocols in light of the growing number of cancellations around the league. The Jazz were at the center of last season’s league-wide postponement after Mitchell and Rudy Gobert became the first two players to publically test positive for the coronavirus.
“I think the protocols themselves are really specific — detailed,” Snyder said. “I think the league has done a great job with that, as they did in the bubble.”
The NBA completed the final months of the 2019-20 season by hosting 22 NBA teams at The Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. The bubble successfully prevented any players or coaches in Orlando from contracting the virus.
The NBA announced that none of the 346 players within the Orlando bubble tested positive for COVID-19. https://t.co/pLuxSz5ksg
— KSL Sports (@kslsports) July 20, 2020
However, with teams now traveling cross country to play in one another’s home arenas throughout the season, that same protection isn’t available.
“It’s not like we’re in the bubble where everybody’s around each other and it’s the same old people,” Mitchell said. “We have families. There are players in the league that have families, have friends. You go eat somewhere, it’s out there.”
Last week the league announced that four players had tested positive for the virus after having zero positive tests the week before.
Four NBA players tested positive for COVID-19 according to league in the latest round of testing. pic.twitter.com/UM1UD8EpqQ
— KSL Sports (@kslsports) January 7, 2021
The NBA postpones games when a team has fewer than eight available players from their 17-man roster able to suit up.
“The biggest thing is just being cautious, COVID is a real thing,” Mitchell said. “It’s why we wear our masks as much as possible. Be smart and just follow the rules.”
Currently, Jazz forward Juwan Morgan is in the NBA’s safety protocol. Morgan has been away from the team since January 5, when it was first announced that he was in the league’s mandated separation.
Earlier this season both Mike Conley and Royce O’Neale missed time with the team due to the league’s safety rules. Joe Ingles also briefly entered the protocol after receiving a false-positive COVID-19 test.
In addition to postponing two games, the NBA says it will be meeting with the NBPA about modifying the league’s Health and Safety Protocols. pic.twitter.com/M8pfsqs0nE
— Tim Bontemps (@TimBontemps) January 11, 2021
The league has scheduled a special meeting between the NBA and NBA Players Association to discuss modifying the current Safety Protocol rules.
“We’re learning a little bit as we go,” Snyder said. “But I think the league’s done a great job. It’s just it’s a really difficult thing.”
The Jazz are set to face the Cleveland Cavaliers Tuesday night in Cleveland.
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