Jayson Tatum was named Eastern Conference Player of the Week on Monday, but had to savor the moment in isolation after a positive COVID-19 test. Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

The Boston Celtics had a third game postponed due to COVID-19 related issues, when the NBA on Tuesday called off their game scheduled for Wednesday against the Orlando Magic.

Boston’s game in Chicago on Tuesday was already called off because of virus concerns, as was the Dallas-New Orleans game on Monday and the Heat-Celtics matchup in Boston on Sunday.

The Magic are also supposed to play the Celtics on Friday in Boston; no determination about that game has been announced.

According to the Boston Herald, the Celtics have eight players listed as out right now because of the league’s protocols. Two Celtics – Jayson Tatum and Robert Williams – have already tested positive, and five others (Jaylen Brown, Semi Ojeleye, Javonte Green, Grant Williams, Tristan Thompson) are in contact tracing. Sunday’s game against Miami was postponed after former Celtic Avery Bradley tested positive, forcing the entire Heat roster into contact tracing.

Brown, along with Ojeleye and Green, were sent into quarantine for contact tracing as a result of Tatum’s positive test, and this is the bumpy rhythm that governs the NBA during the pandemic.

Also Tuesday, Utah’s game in Washington on Wednesday was postponed because contact-tracing issues among the Wizards meant they wouldn’t have eight available players for that matchup.


In the wake of the postponements, the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association enacted additional rules Tuesday in the hope of keeping the season going safely.

Among the new policies: for “at least the next two weeks,” the league and union said, players and team staff will have to remain at their residence when in their home markets and prohibited from leaving their hotels or having outside guests when on the road.

Many of the new rules are similar to what existed in the NBA’s restart bubble at Walt Disney World in central Florida last year.

All that is permitted in home markets, for now, is “to attend team-related activities at the team facility or arena, exercise outside, or perform essential activities,” the league and union said. On the road, team activities and emergencies are the only allowable reasons for leaving.

The Wizards said Tuesday that two of their players are going on the protocols list.

“I feel like I’m living my life in a box,” Portland guard Damian Lillard said Monday night.

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