The game between the San Antonio Spurs and the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday night was postponed shortly before tipoff. The postponement was due to health and safety protocols regarding COVID-19. Neither the Spurs nor the Pelicans had the required number of players (8) cleared and ready to play.
While specifics of what happened aren’t known, both teams were reportedly exposed to COVID-19 by a “non-team member” that traveled with the teams recently. We don’t know yet if any of the players on either team tested positive prior to the game. As of now, it sounds like both the Spurs and the Pelicans were short of eligible players due to contact tracing.
What the Postponement Means to the San Antonio Spurs
It goes without saying that hopefully no one on the team is impacted health-wise. That’s more important than anything else. In terms of basketball, the timing isn’t terrible for San Antonio. This was a second night of a back-to-back. Additionally, the Spurs are in the middle of a difficult stretch in which they play five games in seven nights. A pause right now won’t cause the team to shed many tears.
Is this a one time postponement or will the Spurs be sidelined for a while? That’s another question we don’t have an answer to. The Boston Celtics haven’t yet travelled to San Antonio for Wednesday’s game and they will reportedly wait to hear if the Spurs are cleared to resume play. We should know one way or another in the next 24 hours.
Drew Eubanks had to sit out nearly three weeks due to COVID-19 protocols. In fact, tonight was going to be his return to the lineup. If the Spurs do get multiple positive test results, it could severely impact the team going forward — especially if everyone who tests positive would be out three weeks. But, at this point, it’s too early to speculate.
San Antonio’s last game was against the Washington Wizards, a team who was out of action for approximately two weeks due to a flurry of positive tests. Did the Wizards somehow infect the Spurs? That doesn’t sound like it’s the case — but, again, we aren’t being told much right now.
Hopefully, this just turns out to be a false alarm and the Spurs are able to return to the court soon. Most importantly, hopefully head coach Gregg Popovich — who turns 72 years old on Thursday — is able to stay safe from the virus that disproportionally impacts older individuals.