The Washington Wizards will have to wait to face the Utah Jazz. We’re hoping everyone (on both teams) stays healthy in the meantime.
It finally happened. The Washington Wizards have had one of their games postponed due to COVID-19 contact tracing. After Rui Hachimura and Moe Wagner went into the league’s health and safety protocol on Tuesday, January 12, the team announced later that day that their game vs. the Utah Jazz on Wednesday, January 13, has been postponed.
This is unfortunate but not exactly a surprise. Four of the Wizards’ last five opponents — Brooklyn Nets, Philadelphia 76ers, Boston Celtics, and Miami Heat — have had to postpone games or put players into COVID-19 protocol shortly after their matchup with the Wizards. Honestly, it’s surprising it’s taken this long for it to catch up with the Wizards. We do not know specifics on players’ individual health status, but we hope everyone stays well as the team follows the proper guidelines for testing and isolation.
The postponement announcement comes on the same day that the league announced they had agreed upon a revised set of health and safety guidelines with the NBA Player’s Association.
The Washington Wizards have entered the NBA’s COVID-19 health and safety protocol.
Without a bubble-like atmosphere similar to the one the NBA had in Orlando — which was unrealistic for a 72-game season and largely opposed by the players — positive tests were going to be a reality of this season. An now they are…in a major way.
The game between the Wizards and Jazz is the sixth game this season (Wizards’ first) to be postponed. As the number of positive cases continues to climb in the U.S. and worldwide, the NBA is naturally seeing something similar among its players.
This unwanted break comes at a strange time for the Wizards. Yes, this buys Russell Westbrook some time as he recovers from his quad injury. The slightest of silver linings, if you will. However, the Wizards have some guys who are still playing themselves into shape, mainly Davis Bertans and Robin Lopez. A few days off in which the team can’t practice (coaches sent players game film, scouting reports, and notes to prepare for the Jazz) probably won’t help those guys get back into top form. Although, they both did look great in the win over the Phoenix Suns.
Plus, the Wizards are in the midst of incorporating more set plays into their offense. For the moment, implementing that is on hold.
This hiatus also puts a halt to the Wizards’ recent home-cooking. They looked quite good in their return to Capital One Arena as they knocked off the Phoneix Suns 128-107. It would have been nice to keep riding that wave against more Western Conference foes.
Right now, it’s unclear when the Wizards will make up this game vs. the Jazz. However, I’d expect the NBA to fit any postponed games from the first-half schedule into the second-half schedule, which has yet to be released.