On Friday night, the Washington Wizards announced that their road game against the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday, Jan. 22 is postponed due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak on their team. Though they technically have eight players available to play, Washington hasn’t practiced in over a week, which could put the team at an injury risk.
Update on Friday's game. pic.twitter.com/zPn8dkLrkt— Washington Wizards (@WashWizards) January 21, 2021
With the Milwaukee game now postponed, this is the sixth consecutive game Washington missed due to the coronavirus.
In a press conference on Wednesday evening, Bradley Beal mentioned that the Wizards were hesitant to play the game on Friday due to a lack of playing time. Ultimately, their concerns were heard and the league granted their request to not play the game.
"We're going to fight on it; push the PA on it" Brad on what their options are with the upcoming game on Friday.— Bullets Forever (@BulletsForever) January 21, 2021
As of Wednesday night, six players remain under the NBA’s health and safety protocols: Deni Avdija, Davis Bertans, Troy Brown, Rui Hachimura, Ish Smith and Moritz Wagner. Given that the outbreak started last week, there is a good chance that these players tested positive for the coronavirus. However, due to security laws, the Wizards cannot confirm or deny that they have actually tested positive for COVID-19.
Injury/illness report for Friday. pic.twitter.com/O1KDmFGHUN— Washington Wizards (@WashWizards) January 21, 2021
Still, postponing Friday’s game is the right call. The Wizards were only able to do a very light practice on Wednesday, which was more of a shootaround, according to head coach Scott Brooks in the same press conference Wednesday evening. He repeatedly said that the practice was something that he “wouldn’t call a practice.” On top of that, playing all of a sudden could put players at a higher risk of injury.
If I were the NBA’s official in charge of postponing games, I would postpone the remaining three games of the Wizards’ road trip so they can have close to a full roster on Jan. 29, their next home game against the Atlanta Hawks. This is so the players can get their legs back. And let’s be honest. The last thing anyone should do after getting COVID-19 or exposed to it is traveling halfway across the country anyway.