NBA postpones Grizzlies games due to coronavirus

The Memphis Grizzlies are the latest team in the NBA to have their games on hiatus due to the coronavirus, after the league announced Thursday that the team’s next three games have been postponed due to insufficient numbers of players.

Thursday’s engagement in Portland, plus home games Sunday and Monday against Sacramento, were postponed, the NBA said. The decision comes a day after a Grizzlies game in Portland scheduled for Wednesday was postponed.

“Games are being postponed due to the Grizzlies not having enough players and contact tracing of other players on the roster, and to ensure the health and safety of players on both teams,” the NBA said.

Memphis is guaranteed the hiatus won’t last longer than nine days. The Grizzlies played Phoenix on Monday – taking their fifth win and improving to 7-6, to go above .500 for the first time this season. The earliest they will play again will be January 27 against Chicago.

The three postponements bring the total of games postponed in the campaign to 20, all except for one after January 10. Washington – which will have a hiatus of at least 13 days after six of its players tested positive – has had six games postponed and Memphis has now had five of its own.

Postponed games, whenever possible, will be played in the second half of the season, which begins on March 11 and ends on May 16. It was not clear how many will be rescheduled. The Wizards, for example, could only play 41 games in those 67 days, while in theory the Grizzlies would play 40 in that stretch.

Players who test positive have to undergo a series of tests before being allowed to play, including cardiac tests.

Memphis Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins, right, talks to player Brandon Clarke in the first half of an NBA game against the Phoenix Suns on Jan. 18, 2021. (AP Photo / Brandon Dill)Brandon Dill/AP

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