Draymond rips NBA after Warriors-Nuggets game postponed originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
The Warriors were scheduled to play the Denver Nuggets for the second time in three nights on Thursday, but the NBA stepped in roughly five hours before tip-off in the Mile High City and postponed the game because of a COVID-19 outbreak within the Nuggets.
The decision by the NBA to postpone Thursday’s game in Denver didn’t sit well with Draymond Green, who currently is in the league’s health and safety protocol. The Warriors’ forward missed Tuesday’s game in San Francisco and wasn’t going to play in Denver either. But that didn’t stop him from calling out the league for its handling of the situation.
While the Nuggets have been ravaged by injuries this season, the Warriors were without four players for their loss to Denver on Tuesday due to health and safety protocol: Green, Jordan Poole, Damion Lee and Moses Moody. Poole and Moody were slated to return for Thursday’s game.
Due to injuries and their own COVID-related illnesses, the Nuggets used nine players Tuesday, one above the league-mandated eight required to play a game. But on Thursday morning, Denver put coach Michael Malone and forward Jeff Green, guard Bones Hyland and forward Zeke Nnaji into the protocol, leaving them below the number of players required to play the game.
Green’s argument is that the Warriors had to play at a competitive disadvantage Tuesday, so why shouldn’t the Nuggets have to play at one Thursday? It’s unclear why the Nuggets weren’t able to sign players to 10-day hardship contracts in order to get to the minimum number required to play the game Thursday. The Nuggets’ G League affiliate is in Grand Rapids, MI., which is a two and a half hour flight from Denver.
At this point, the NBA hasn’t announced when the postponed game will be rescheduled, but as Draymond points out, unless the league makes up all the postponed games after the regular season and pushes back the start of the playoffs, Thursday’s game likely will be made up during the extended All-Star break in late February or will have to be made up on a common off-day for the Warriors and Nuggets where they both can be in Denver.
Chances are, that will create a scheduling logjam or back-to-back situation for the Warriors (and possibly the Nuggets as well). And while the Warriors might be at full strength whenever the game is made up, the Nuggets likely will be in a much stronger position roster-wise whenever the game is played, which is what Draymond has an issue with.
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Even Klay Thompson, who has yet to play this season while he recovers from Achilles surgery, wasn’t thrilled with the NBA’s decision to postpone Thursday’s game while allowing Tuesday’s game to proceed.
The NBA did what they felt was in the best interest of the Nuggets and the product they would put out on the court. But that reasoning doesn’t sit well with Draymond, Klay and Andre Iguodala, who replied to one of Green’s tweets.
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