Pistons game against Nuggets postponed due to contact tracing
The only predictable thing in the NBA season during a pandemic is unpredictability.
Another layer of that uncertainty came Monday, when the Pistons’ game against the Denver Nuggets was postponed just before game time because of contact tracing, the NBA announced just before the 9 p.m. Eastern tip-off time.
“Because of ongoing contact tracing within the Pistons, the team does not have the league-required eight available players to proceed with tonight’s game against the Nuggets,” the NBA said in a statement.
If there’s a positive test or an inconclusive COVID test, the traveling party goes into contact tracing, and depending on which person is affected and the others in the traveling party that person came into close contact with, the team could be left with fewer than the minimum number of eight players available before a game.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the test in question traces back to a Pistons player.
“Detroit returned a positive/inconclusive coronavirus test on a player, sources tell ESPN,” Wojnarowski posted on Twitter. “Pistons were watching pregame film, preparing for game with Nuggets when they learned of postponement. League's recently made decision to park teams in this situation over a single test.”
According to the Denver Post's Mike Singer, the player was not Jerami Grant or Mason Plumlee, who both played with the Nuggets last season. Both players apparently had been chatting with former teammates during pregame warm-ups, Singer noted.
It’s the 23rd NBA game postponed this season because of COVID issues and the second Pistons game to be postponed, along with the Washington Wizards game on Jan. 15. That postponement was due to contact tracing within the Wizards organization before they traveled to Detroit for the game.
The Pistons were on the second game of their five-game western trip, after having played at Golden State on Saturday. They were scheduled to face the Utah Jazz on Tuesday, the Phoenix Suns on Friday and the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday.
The status of those games is uncertain until the status of the test is finalized.