Monday night's game between the Dallas Mavericks and New Orleans Pelicans and Tuesday night's game between the Boston Celtics and Chicago Bulls have been postponed due to COVID-19.
According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the Mavs-Pels game has been postponed because the Mavericks do not have eight players available, which is the number of players required to compete. According to Tim MacMahon, "at least five more Mavs entered protocols today" in addition to the four players who were already out due to health and safety protocols.
Dallas superstar Luka Doncic seemed to tweet out in response to the news, though his cryptic use of the wide-eyed emoji could be interpreted in a variety of ways at this point. Kristaps Porzingis was set to make his season debut after having knee surgery during the offseason, but now his return will have to wait.
— Luka Doncic (@luka7doncic) January 11, 2021
This is the second straight postponement for the Celtics after their game against the Miami Heat was also delayed, though that was due to the Heat not having the required amount of players, not the Celtics. Woj tweeted that a "source says Boston remains short the necessary players."
The NBA is now experiencing the reality of life outside of the bubble, and the NBA and NBA Players Association are expected to meet Monday to discuss "modifying the league's Health and Safety Protocols." General managers are also expected to have a conference call Monday to have similar discussions, with at least one anonymous executive expressing concern about the league's ability to complete the season with the current system in place.