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NBA needs to get ahead of the coronavirus and pause season

On Sunday, the NBA made the decision to postpone the Boston Celtics’ game against the Miami Heat. Not only were seven Celtics ruled out due to the league’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols, but the Heat didn’t have enough players eligible. The Celtics played the Washington Wizards just a few nights before, but Bradley Beal was the only player on the Wizards required to sit out.

On the daily Locked On Celtics podcast, host John Karalis discusses the state of the Celtics after Jayson Tatum’s positive test and why the NBA needs to get ahead of the curve and pause the season:

John Karalis: How is it that Jayson Tatum, who tested positive, played in this game against Washington and only Bradley Beal, because they had a close conversation, is quarantined out of this? What I’m afraid is going to happen is a few other guys are going to have it. It’s going to be too early to catch it. They’re going to go play these other games. Other players are going to catch it and then a day later, two days later, the Wizards all start testing positive. Then the players that they play, three, four days from then they start testing positive.

That’s why I think the NBA should just say, two weeks, everybody shut it down for two weeks. Learn the lesson that the country didn’t learn at the beginning of this pandemic, shut it down at the beginning before all hell breaks loose. Shut it down, isolate everybody for two weeks, let it run its course, retest everybody, and then start up again. Two weeks is doable to make up. It’s doable. Even if you have to cut the season down from 72 to 68 games or something. Maybe you extend the season a little bit. I don’t know, maybe you, you cut down that quote unquote All-Star break. You don’t really have a full week, maybe you just make it five days. You can sneak another game in there. Somehow. There’s a way to make this happen but the league says, nope.

The NBA has since postponed the Celtics’ game against the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday. Kristaps Porzingis’ season debut for the Dallas Mavericks against the New Orleans Pelicans has also been postponed.