Before Thursday, the Kings were one of nine teams in the NBA that had not experienced a coronavirus-related game postponement.
That changed as Thursday morning brought the total number of postponed games to 20, and now the Kings are part of two. The NBA announced that it will be postponing the Memphis Grizzlies’ next three games (their Wednesday game had previously been delayed), and the final two of those were a home back-to-back against Sacramento on Saturday and Sunday.
As the ESPN article notes, the decision to essentially pause the Grizzlies for a full week is a new step in the league’s coronavirus response. Rather than placing individual players in contact tracing — and forcing depleted rosters to play heavy minutes in their stead — the entire team is simply being shut down. The Wizards similarly have had six consecutive games postponed.
From Sacramento’s perspective, this allows the team to stay home for a couple of extra days before heading out on their road trip. After hosting the Knicks on Friday, the Kings don’t have to be in Orlando until Wednesday, which will give the team some practice time in the interim.
Hopefully, this choice to keep the Grizzlies separated from the rest of the league will help prevent the spread of the coronavirus between teams, and the affected players on Memphis and throughout the NBA can have successful recoveries. It’s a precarious situation, but it does seem that this course of action is the best way to protect the players moving forward.