Nets vs. Blazers, Raptors vs. Bulls Postponed Due to COVID-19 Issues

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVDecember 22, 2021

BOSTON, MA - NOVEMBER 24: The Brooklyn Nets huddle up during the game against the Boston Celtics on November 24, 2021 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE  (Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)
Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images

The NBA announced it postponed Thursday's games for the Brooklyn Nets and Toronto Raptors because they didn't have the minimum eight players available to play.

The Nets were scheduled to face the Portland Trail Blazers, while the Raptors had a road matchup against the Chicago Bulls.

The league has yet to make any formal announcement regarding Brooklyn's Christmas Day clash with the Los Angeles Lakers.

This is the third straight Nets game that has been postponed because of their COVID-19 outbreak. They had 10 players enter the NBA's health and safety protocols.

Likewise, the Raptors have now had three postponements over their last four games. According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, OG Anunoby became the eighth Toronto player in the health and safety protocols.

Brooklyn's situation was bad enough that the organization announced plans to welcome Kyrie Irving back into the fold as a part-time player.

"We're trying to be practical," Nets Governor Joe Tsai said to Brian Lewis of the New York Post. "And I've always said I don't want to make this a political issue. My only religion is to win games and win the championship. That's where we are."

Shortly after he began the process of rejoining the team, though, Irving also entered into the health and safety protocols.

The Nets and Raptors aren't the only teams that have seen their squads depleted for COVID-19-related reasons. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver ruled out any leaguewide pause for the time being, though, telling ESPN's Malika Andrews on Tuesday that "we're gonna have to learn to live" with COVID-19 and situations like the present one.

Malika Andrews @malika_andrews

Commissioner Adam Silver joined NBA Today to talk about COVID in the league as Christmas Day approaches. <br><br>Silver said there are currently no plans to pause the season. <a href="https://t.co/LFIPCCejnQ">pic.twitter.com/LFIPCCejnQ</a>

One example is the NBA's Christmas Day slate of games.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported the league told the 10 teams set to play Saturday that any scheduling changes could come as late as Friday and that there's "a priority on filling the ABC windows of 2:30 p.m. ET, 5 p.m. and 8 p.m."

The Nets and Lakers are scheduled to tip off at 8 p.m. ET on Christmas.