Nuggets-Warriors game postponed due to COVID-19 outbreak

UPI News
UPI News

Dec. 30 (UPI) -- The NBA postponed Thursday night's game between the Denver Nuggets and Golden State Warriors after a COVID-19 outbreak left the Nuggets without the necessary eight players required to compete.

It marks the NBA's 11th postponement this season because of coronavirus-related issues.

Earlier Thursday, ESPN and the Denver Post reported that Nuggets head coach Michael Malone and two other assistant coaches entered the league's health and safety protocols. According to the outlets, assistant coach David Adelman will serve as interim coach during Malone's absence.

Nuggets forwards Jeff Green and Zeke Nnaji and guard Bones Hyland also entered the protocols Thursday, the team said.

In addition to the team's COVID-19 problems, the Nuggets are dealing with multiple injuries to key players. Aaron Gordon, Monte Morris, Austin Rivers and Vlatko Cancar all were questionable for Thursday night's matchup against the Warriors before the postponement.

After the postponement, Warriors forward Draymond Green took to social media to voice his frustrations.

"How do you continue to cancel games when you've implemented rules to prevent this from happening?" Green wrote on Twitter. "Is that not a competitive advantage for other teams? The guys we didn't have due to the protocol list played no role in Tuesday's loss? Pick a side but don't straddle the fence.

"So when the game is rescheduled (which will probably take a day away from our 'break'), we will play them at full strength. But they got to sneak a win when we weren't at full strength, only two days ago??? Let's make it make some sense here."

Green also noted that the postponement likely will add a back-to-back to the Warriors' schedule, "which is also advantage Denver."

Malone joins Doc Rivers (Philadelphia 76ers), Frank Vogel (Los Angeles Lakers), Monty Williams (Phoenix Suns), Billy Donovan (Chicago Bulls), Chauncey Billups (Portland Trail Blazers) and Mark Daigneault (Oklahoma City Thunder) as NBA coaches who have entered the league's protocols.

Rivers entered the COVID-19 protocols earlier Thursday, according to ESPN and the Philadelphia Inquirer. The 60-year-old coach is vaccinated against the virus.

In Rivers' absence, 76ers assistant coach Dan Burke will serve as interim coach -- beginning with Thursday's game against the Brooklyn Nets in New York.

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