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Grizzlies vs. Trail Blazers Postponed Due to COVID-19 Contact Tracing

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJanuary 20, 2021

The Memphis Grizzlies huddle before an NBA basketball game against the Philadelphia 76ers Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill)
Brandon Dill/Associated Press

Wednesday's game between the Memphis Grizzlies and Portland Trail Blazers has been postponed.

The NBA cited "ongoing contact tracing within the Grizzlies," which will leave Memphis without at least eight available players.

Marc Stein @TheSteinLine

The NBA has officially announced its 16th postponement this season: Memphis at Portland tonight is off ... https://t.co/w7R9TQYwdJ

It's the second postponement from the day's slate of action after the league pushed back the Charlotte Hornets home matchup with the Washington Wizards due to contact tracing within the Wizards.

The Grizzlies and Blazers are scheduled to play again Friday in Portland. It's unclear whether that game will be affected as well.

Memphis last played Monday evening, beating the Phoenix Suns 108-104. Head coach Taylor Jenkins had 10 players take the floor.

This the second postponement for the Grizzlies. They were unable to play the Minnesota Timberwolves last Friday due to contact tracing on Minnesota.

The Blazers, meanwhile, completed all 14 games on their schedule prior to Wednesday's announcement.

Many teams are either having to play shorthanded or delay games to satisfy the terms of the NBA's health and safety protocols. However, the league isn't planning to pause action.

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"We anticipated that there would be game postponements this season and planned the schedule accordingly," NBA spokesman Mike Bass told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski on Jan. 10. "There are no plans to pause the season, and we will continue to be guided by our medical experts and health and safety protocols."

Instead, the league is amending the protocols in an effort to address the situation.

For example, team security guards will stand at half court before and after games to limit the contact between opposing players, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium.

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