Spurs vs. Pelicans Postponed Monday Amid COVID-19 Contact Tracing

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistJanuary 26, 2021

The court floor and league logo are shown after Game 3 of the NBA basketball Western Conference final between the Los Angeles Lakers and Denver Nuggets on Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

Monday's game between the San Antonio Spurs and New Orleans Pelicans is the latest to be postponed during the 2020-21 season.

The NBA announced the decision less than two hours prior to the 9 p.m. ET scheduled start time, noting the postponement is because of the league's health and safety protocols.

"Because of ongoing contact tracing within both the Spurs and Pelicans, neither team has the league-required eight available players to proceed with the scheduled game," the announcement read.

Andrew Lopez of ESPN provided more context:

This has become a regular occurrence for the NBA as it attempts to play its season amid the COVID-19 pandemic while hosting games inside of home arenas instead of a bubble-like environment.

There were zero positive cases as the league finished the 2019-20 campaign inside the Walt Disney World Resort, but almost every team in the league has now had at least one game postponed in 2020-21 and the season is just more than one month old.

Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press noted the Spurs are the 24th team to have a game postponed this season following this news.

Still, there has not been any meaningful momentum toward potentially shifting toward a bubble or even pausing games. In fact, Reynolds reported the Miami Heat are planning on welcoming fans to AmericanAirlines Arena for Thursday's game and will use dogs who are trained to sniff out the coronavirus as a safety precaution.

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As for Monday's game, the Pelicans were looking to snap a three-game losing streak and bounce back from a slow start.

They are just 5-10, while the Spurs are 9-8. San Antonio has been among the league's pleasant surprises to start the season after it missed the playoffs last year.