For the sixth time in a row the Washington Wizards have had their NBA match postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak.
The Wizards practised on 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.
But shortly after Wizards guard Bradley Beal commented his short-handed team would be at a disadvantage if forced to play the road game on Friday against the Milwaukee Bucks, the NBA announced the game had been postponed.
Coach Scott Brooks said the players had gone through a “very light” workout.
Beal said after practice but prior to the postponement the players weren’t able to go to 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 centre Moritz Wagner were previously ruled out for Friday due to the NBA’s health and safety protocols.
The status of newly acquired guard Russell Westbrook, who has a quadriceps injury, was uncertain for Friday. Centre 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 per cent, with the virus.”
The six Wizards games pushed back are among 17 NBA postponements so far this season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.