Despite playing all season without their second-best player, Jaren Jackson Jr. (offseason surgery), and a handful of games without their best one, reigning NBA Rookie of the Year Ja Morant, the Memphis are a solid 7-6 straight up and have been one of the league's best bets at 8-5 against the spread. However, the Grizzlies will not play another game until at least next Wednesday vs. Chicago due to additional postponements on their schedule regarding COVID protocols.
Memphis' game at Portland on Wednesday was postponed, and Thursday the NBA also announced the Grizzlies' matchup in Portland on Friday and games at home vs. Sacramento on Sunday and Monday were all postponed due to "unavailable players" on the Grizzlies' roster as well as "contract tracing for other players."
That means a total of 20 games have been postponed around the league so far, with the Grizzlies accounting for five of those. Only the Wizards with six have more. They are scheduled to play Sunday in San Antonio, but that's no sure thing.
Washington also was to play Friday in Milwaukee, but Wizards star Bradley Beal and a few others pushed back on that by saying that resuming play after missing so much practice time would be "a recipe for injury" and with eight Wizards players out due to COVID protocols or injury (Russell Westbrook). The NBA relented.
The Kings were one of eight teams yet to have a game postponed but are now off that list. The remaining seven who have played every game as scheduled are the Nets, Knicks, Raptors, Spurs, Nuggets, Lakers and Clippers.
The NBA was hoping for all teams to play 72 regular-season games, but that's clearly a pipe dream for a few clubs at a minimum. The league purposefully only released a "first half" schedule through early March as it knew there would need to be changes in the "second half" version, which should be out in mid-to-late February.
There are seven games scheduled for Sunday opposite the NFC and AFC Championship Game. While there also are five games scheduled on Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 7), all will be completed by kickoff in Tampa. None of the four NFL semifinalists have an NBA franchise – although the Toronto Raptors are playing their games this season in Tampa (but not on Super Bowl Sunday).
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