This Sunday, the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat game became the second game during the 2020-21 NBA season to get postponed due to COVID-19 and the protocols set in place by the league. The call was taken after an unidentified Heat player returned with inconclusive test results, with statements speaking about the game being scheduled at a later date. However, before the game was postponed, nine Celtics players were sidelined.
Celtics players who are out tonight vs. Heat:— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 10, 2021
Kemba Walker (injury)
Romeo Langford (injury)
Javonte Green pic.twitter.com/E7daTZupRa
According to reports, the Celtics were without nine players, seven of who were out due to health and safety protocols set by the league – Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Tristan Thompson, Semi Ojeleye, Grant Williams, Javonte Green and Robert Williams. Kemba Walker and Romeo Langford were sidelined due to injuries. With the Celtics vs Heat matchup being postponed, fans reacted about the incident on Twitter, confused over the back to back announcements.
The NBA is a joke. Making us (the number 1 team at the time) play with 7 players, but postponing the Celtics/Heat game with 8 healthy players. pic.twitter.com/yrP5MSgVe0— Kaela ミ☆ (@wheelsb4heels) January 11, 2021
Ah yes, well known “coddled by the NBA” Boston Celtics. Totally not because the Heat didn’t have enough players https://t.co/jTYxXN4wkM— maybe: Esq. (@TweetsFromAlec) January 11, 2021
Heat- Celtics game gets postponed and now Steelers are getting obliterated 👍 pic.twitter.com/IEJIOA8b47— 🚫(4-4) (@DrippedRodd) January 11, 2021
Ben and Joel didn’t have to sit out— CJ (@tatumbetter) January 10, 2021
We couldn’t get postponed with 7 guys against the Nuggets. Ok Adam Silver— Jackson (7-2) (@JAlbrightt2) January 10, 2021
While fans were disappointed over the postponed game, many were confused as to how the NBA is decided. Philadelphia 76ers and Denver Nuggets fans spoke about the situation, wondering why that game was played with fewer players. Some even accused NBA commissioner Adam Silver, some stating that the Celtics are being coddled by the league. Some fans even urged the league to cancel the season, looking at the worsening COVID-19 situation.
While issuing a statement to The New York Times' Sopan Deb, NBA's spokesperson Mike Bass spoke about the COVID-19 situation, and how they expected game postponements and planned accordingly. "There are no plans to pause the season. We will continue to be guided by our medical experts and our health and safety protocols". ESPN's Adran Wojnarowski also reported that while rosters suffering due to the protocol, the league plans to continue as decided.