Rockets-Thunder Has Been Postponed Due To Houston Not Having Enough Players

There was almost never a believable scenario in which the NBA would get through the 2020-21 season without postponements due to COVID-19 testing and contact tracing protocols, but the league certainly was hoping their first postponed game would not happen on the first full night of the season.

However, that’s exactly the case for the Houston Rockets, as their opening night game with the Oklahoma City Thunder is having to be postponed to a later date due to a positive test on the Rockets and contact tracing that has ruled out half of the team for Wednesday night’s game.

The issue for the Rockets stems from a positive test result from Kenyon Martin Jr. along with two others that were positive or inconclusive, and the subsequent contact tracing that found a gathering of much of the team — including John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins — at an apartment to get haircuts. On top of that gathering, James Harden’s latest escapade to what he described as “an event, not a strip club” that was documented on social media was ruled to be in violation of the league’s health and safety protocols and he was then ruled ineligible to play on Wednesday as well, making it so they could not field the minimum requirement of eight players.

The hope, of course, is that the positive/inconclusive test results are limited to the three from Wednesday, because a positive test rules a player out for 10 days at minimum with no exercise, with two days of individual workouts following that are required to be supervised after. The Rockets next game on the schedule is not until Saturday in Denver to face the Nuggets, and the testing results over the next few days will be critical to whether they can field a team for that game.