In an effort to combat the piling up of games due to postponements caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the NBA on Wednesday said it will adjust the existing schedule to avoid having to fill in too many games during the second half of the season.
To do so, the NBA will do two things: reschedule games that have already been postponed, where possible, between now and the league's scheduled midseason break in early March; and reschedule games to the second half of the season -- which has yet to be announced -- in order to squeeze in more games where possible in the first half.
While making this announcement, the NBA did both things. First, it scheduled a game between the Portland Trail Blazers and the Washington Wizards -- originally scheduled for the second half of the season -- to Feb. 2. It then moved Portland's game on Feb. 7, scheduled against the Charlotte Hornets, to the second half of the season.
Finally, it scheduled a game between the Wizards and Hornets on Feb. 7. That game had originally been scheduled for Jan. 20 but was postponed.
To date, the NBA has had to postpone 22 games due to teams not having enough players to safely play a game because of the league's health and safety protocols. Of those 22 games, 12 have involved two teams -- the Wizards, who didn't play from Jan. 11 to 24, and the Memphis Grizzlies, who haven't played since Jan. 18 and won't return before Saturday's game at San Antonio at the earliest.
With the virus wreaking havoc with several teams, the league tightened its protocols earlier this month to try to limit the spread. In a sign that those changes are working, the NBA had only one new positive test this week in its weekly joint announcement with the National Basketball Players Association on Wednesday afternoon.
That is down significantly from the past two weeks, which saw the two sides report 11 and 16 positive tests, respectively.