Another NBA game called off while Boston Celtics plan to play tonight

Celtics center Tacko Fall, middle, competes for a loose ball with Washington Wizards center Moritz Wagner, left, and forward Rui Hachimura during the second half last Friday in Boston. (AP file photo)

The Boston Celtics expect their unplanned weeklong hiatus because of coronavirus-related issues to end tonight, when they’re scheduled to play host to the Orlando Magic.

The Phoenix Suns, however, have a bit more time off coming.

The Celtics will be without at least three players today, including All-Star forward Jayson Tatum, because of the league’s health and safety protocols. But four others are apparently on the cusp of satisfying their league-mandated time away from the team and are listed as questionable for Friday.

“I don’t think there’s an easy answer here,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens said Thursday after the team’s first time on the court together since a shootaround for a game Sunday against Miami that ultimately was postponed. “This is a difficult time around the country. This pandemic is as rampant as it’s ever been and obviously we’re feeling some of that despite the great precautions and great steps we’re taking not to.”

Meanwhile, the Indiana at Phoenix game scheduled for Saturday has been called off — the ninth such postponement since the week began. The Suns will not have enough players eligible to play, largely because of contact tracing issues, the NBA said.

Boston had three games that would have been played between Sunday and Wednesday postponed because some players were positive and others were ruled out because contact tracing showed that they could have been exposed to the virus.

Leaguewide, 10 games this season have now been postponed and the NBA was reviewing if more games — including a

Sunday game in Washington — would have to be pushed back. The Suns and Wizards were both scheduled to play Friday; those games were postponed because of contact-tracing issues.

“If you look at how our league is going, what’s happening in our country, I don’t think you can be surprised by anything,” Magic coach Steve Clifford said.

More tests are likely coming to the NBA, which revealed Wednesday that 16 players tested positive for COVID-19 in the past week.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)

Starting at $4.75/week.

Subscribe Today