The NBA is officially experiencing the pains of life outside the Bubble, as more and more teams have had positive tests and games now being postponed, including Sunday night's matchup between the Miami Heat and the Boston Celtics. Despite these recent struggles, NBA commissioner Adam Silver says that he is hopeful that the league will see a drop of COVID-19 cases by next month.
On a league call, Silver referred to these as the "darkest days" and insisted that once the league is able to "get through" them that he is "optimistic about improvements in February..."
Given the high number of teams that have already had to isolate players, it is easy to question Silver's optimism. But it's also worth remembering that the MLB and NFL both had similar bumps in the road early in their seasons before they were able to get things under relative control.
Last season, the NBA opted for a Bubble strategy and it worked perfectly, with no positive tests being reported over the several months the season finished in Orlando. But the effective endeavor was also costly, which is the biggest reason why the league has chosen to play this season with no Bubble intact.
Now, the NBA has found how difficult finishing a season is without a Bubble, as the questionable methods of contact-tracing and difficulties of rescheduling postponed games already have many questioning if the NBA was properly prepared for this season. Perhaps Silver is right and cases will drop after this rough start, but if not, the league may find itself having to shut down for the second time in less than a year.