The Portland Trail Blazers’ game against the Houston Rockets on December 26th could be in jeopardy after many of the Rockets players have either tested positive for COVID-19 or are ineligible to play due to the NBA’s contact tracing protocol.
Early in the morning on December 24th, Tim McMahon of ESPN tweeted about the availability of the Rockets’ players for the match-up with the Blazers.
The NBA is still in the process of determine the quarantine periods for the Rockets who were not available last night due to contract tracing. With James Harden, the Rockets have eight available players, which is enough to play in Portland on Saturday.— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) December 24, 2020
Later in the day on the 24th, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported on which Rockets players would be unavailable for the game on Saturday according to the NBA’s contact tracing protocol.
Due to a separate positive test for a Houston Rockets staff member, there is additional contact tracing being performed that involves guard Eric Gordon and others, sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) December 25, 2020
The Rockets have several players — including John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins and possibly more — currently facing seven-day quarantine per NBA contact tracing protocol, sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) December 25, 2020
NBA guidelines state that a team must have eight eligible players for a game to be played. If the Rockets have fewer than eight players available on Saturday, the game between them and the Blazers will be postponed. Houston was unable to compete in their season-opener against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday night for this reason. We’ll see what happens on Saturday.
The Rockets might still be able to field a team for tomorrow’s game, following an update from MacMahon.
The Rockets list DeMarcus Cousins, Eric Gordon, John Wall and two-way player Mason Jones as out for tomorrow’s game in Portland due to health and safety protocols. Ben McLemore and Kenyon Martin Jr., who both tested positive for COVID-19, are also out.— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) December 25, 2020