Warriors vs. Nuggets Postponed Because of Denver's COVID-19 Outbreak

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVDecember 30, 2021

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - MARCH 05: The Denver Nuggets logo on the shorts of Nikola Jokic #15 of the Denver Nuggets during the fourth quarter during their game against the Charlotte Hornets at Spectrum Center on March 05, 2020 in Charlotte, North Carolina. 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. (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)
Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images

The NBA postponed Thursday's game between the Golden State Warriors and the Denver Nuggets.

The Nuggets were racing against the clock leading up to the 9:30 p.m. ET tipoff in order to have the minimum eight players required to play.

Mike Singer @msinger

No idea if they'd consider this, but not sure what's stopping the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Nuggets?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Nuggets</a> from ruling out their questionable guys and calling it a wrap, regardless of the testing statuses of their available guys. <a href="https://t.co/xq3fw0tTOk">https://t.co/xq3fw0tTOk</a>

Hardwood Paroxysm @HPbasketball

Nuggets are trying to find hardship guys who can get to Denver to play right now. <br><br>A postponement causes a logistical hassle for reschedule after they already are facing another trip to Brooklyn at some point crammed in.

Warriors star Draymond Green spoke about his frustration with the situation:

Draymond Green @Money23Green

How do you continue to cancel games when you’ve implemented rules to prevent this from happening? Is that not a competitive advantage for other teams? The guys we didn’t have due to the protocol list played no role in Tuesdays loss? Pick a side but don’t straddle the fence.

Denver's next game is Saturday at the Houston Rockets.

Thursday's postponement doesn't come as a surprise after ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Nuggets head coach Michael Malone and two of his assistants entered the health and safety protocols. The team also lost Jeff Green and Zeke Nnaji and guard Bones Hyland for the same reason.

This is Denver's first postponement because of COVID-related problems within its own roster. A Dec. 19 clash with the Brooklyn Nets will need to be rescheduled because the Nets couldn't field eight available players.

Eleven games around the NBA have been postponed in total.

Commissioner Adam Silver told ESPN's Malika Andrews on Dec. 21 the league hadn't yet engaged in any serious conversations about pausing the season.

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>

As Green alluded to, the NBA is instead adapting on the fly.

The league and players' union agreed to amend the return-to-play protocols and lessened the minimum quarantine period from 10 days to six. Players and coaches who are asymptomatic and fulfill testing requirements can leave isolation after six days.

The step came after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention halved their recommended isolation window for asymptomatic carriers.