NBA postpones Wizards vs Bucks, Grizzlies vs Blazers due to COVID-19

Washington Wizards' Friday game against the Milwaukee Bucks has been postponed as it only had eight available players.

Representative image: The match against Bucks is the sixth consecutive Wizards game postponed due to the team's COVID-19 outbreak.   -  Getty Images

Shortly after Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal commented that his short-handed team would be at a competitive disadvantage if forced to return to action for a road game Friday against the Milwaukee Bucks, the NBA announced that the game was postponed.

It is the sixth consecutive Wizards game postponed due to the team's COVID-19 outbreak.

The Wizards practiced Wednesday for the first time in 10 days, but they had just eight available players -- the minimum permissible for game action under the NBA's coronavirus protocols. Coach Scott Brooks said the players went through a "very light" workout.

Beal said after practice but prior to the postponement news, "We weren't able to get into a gym for a week. That alters guys' rhythm, shape -- that is just like a recipe for injury, honestly. I think we are fighting the league on (playing Friday at Milwaukee)."

Guard Ish Smith and Troy Brown Jr., forwards Rui Hachimura, Davis Bertans and Deni Avdija and center Moritz Wagner were previously ruled out for Friday due to the NBA's health and safety protocols.

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The status of newly acquired guard Russell Westbrook, who has a quadriceps injury, was uncertain for Friday. Center Thomas Bryant was ruled out for the season last week due to a torn left anterior cruciate ligament.

"We already have guys out with injury," Beal said. "Now we have a huge chunk of our team, like over 50 percent, with the virus now."

The six Wizards games pushed back are among 17 NBA postponements so far this season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Grizzlies vs Blazers postponed

The game between the Portland Trail Blazers and Memphis was postponed on Wednesday because of COVID-19 protocols within the Grizzlies, the NBA announced.

"Because of ongoing contact tracing within the Grizzlies, the team will not have the league-required eight available players to proceed with the scheduled game against the Trail Blazers," the league said in a statement.

The Grizzlies (7-6) traveled to Portland to meet the Trail Blazers (8-6) with games scheduled for Wednesday and Friday. No announcement has been made about the status of Friday night's game.

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