The worst-case scenario for the NBA has started to play out less than a month into the 2020-2021 season. After completing a successful bubble playoff over the summer with no positive COVID cases the NBA decided that they would try and go back to normal. Having games at teams’ home arenas and allowing NBA teams to travel from state to state. Well here we are just 21 days into the NBA season and we are seeing games be postponed.

The Celtics have now postponed two straight games. However, the previous game was due to the Miami Heat being unable to field a team of eight players. Now the Boston Celtics are in the same exact boat. The Bulls have also had issues with COVID as they have had four players out and two players test positive. This is likely going to get much worse before it gets better.

Prepare for the worst to come

While this is only the second NBA game to be postponed due to COVID, expect more to come. This is going to be something the NBA most likely will have to address as a whole at some point. With how close NBA teams are in practice, travel, etc. it’s bound to spread throughout a team. If it isn’t spreading then there’s certainly going to be contact tracing that will keep people out. Just look at the Bulls, they lost forward Lauri Markkanen and guard Ryan Arcidiacano for an extended period of time due to tracing. The Bulls ended up getting lucky that it wasn’t more players. As more and more teams are having positive cases pop up it’s just going to get more complicated for the league.

Everyone is starting to see how messy this situation is getting. The Philadelphia 76ers ended up playing a game over the weekend with only 8 players available. They ended up starting center Dwight Howard as a guard in that game. Stuff like that, while entertaining, takes away from the game. The league is going to need to figure out what to do and do it quickly.

What does this mean for the Bulls?

For the Bulls, this will probably be a good thing. With the postponement of the game, the Bulls will be given an extra day of practice and actually will get four full days’ worth of recovery before their next game. This should allow the team to get Markkanen and Arcidiacano back. This time should also allow forward Otto Porter Jr to get back to full strength. After a grueling west coast road trip, this allows the Bulls to spend 4 days implementing what they just learned. Head coach Billy Donovan will actually be given some time to teach. Instead of just going to the next game it’s almost like a mini-training camp. This could be huge for the Bulls especially after the travel they just did. This is absolutely going to be a big benefit for the Bulls.

COVID may take over the league

Again, this could just be the beginning of this issue. In a week or two we could see a full pause of the NBA season. There has been talk of possibly going back into a bubble type format. However, it’s still too early at this stage to know if that will happen. A special league meeting has been set for Tuesday to discuss COVID further.

The Bulls appear to have gotten off easy to start the season when it comes to COVID. Let’s hope that the two players who tested positive are the only two the Bulls will see all season. This Bulls team needs as much playing time as possible to continue getting better. We don’t want to see our starters forced to sit out due to being part of a trace. This season is going to be a struggle due to COVID health and safety protocols. Let’s hope the Bulls can make it through with no more positives.