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NBA Has 'No Plans' to Pause Season Amid Increased COVID-19 Concerns

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJanuary 10, 2021

A logo for the NBA playoffs and official basketballs are seen on the court prior to Game 1 of an NBA basketball playoffs basketball game between the Los Angeles Lakers and San Antonio Spurs, Sunday, April 21, 2013, in San Antonio, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Eric Gay/Associated Press

Despite COVID-19 issues affecting multiple teams, the NBA is not looking to stop the season at this point. 

NBA spokesman Mike Bass issued a statement about the situation, via Sopan Deb of the New York Times“We anticipated that there would be game postponements this season and planned this season accordingly. There are no plans to pause the season. We will continue to be guided by our medical experts and our health and safety protocols.”

Per Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium, the Celtics-Heat game is being postponed due to an inconclusive COVID-19 test for Miami that leaves the team without enough eligible players as the league conducts contact tracing. 

ESPN's Tim Bontemps reported earlier in the day that the Celtics had nine players listed on the injury report who weren't going to be able to play if the game had taken place. 

Sunday marks the second time this season the NBA has been forced to postpone a game due to COVID-19 concerns. The first was a Dec. 23 matchup between the Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver told reporters in December the league has "prepared for all contingencies" and acknowledged suspending the season could happen, but he didn't offer any specifics about how bad an outbreak had to get for that to occur. 

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As part of the NBA's contingency plans, the league only released half of its 72-game schedule for teams through March 4. The remaining schedule will be unveiled at some point before the end of the first half. 

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