Before the season started, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver admitted that with the league not playing in a bubble unlike the previous season, the possibility of players testing positive for COVID-19 and games being postponed was inevitable, similar to the MLB and NFL seasons. After stiffening up the protocols recently, Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet believes the league’s attempt to flatten the curve is like plugging holes in a sinking boat, according to Lori Ewing of The Canadian Press.
Fred VanVleet says the NBA’s new stricter COVID-19 protocols feel a bit like trying to “plug holes in a sinking boat.”
— Lori Ewing (@Ewingsports) January 13, 2021
There have now been seven games postponed as of Wednesday morning, with the latest being the contest between the Phoenix Suns and Atlanta Hawks. In light of multiple positive tests, shorthanded rosters, and multiple postponements, the league has added more stringent protocols for teams, mostly focusing on closing rooms to non-team guests in road hotels and limiting non-team activities for players and staff while on the road.
VanVleet and the Raptors have not had games postponed so far due to COVID-19, although the team is mired in a slow start to the season and have a 2-8 record and find themselves tied with the Detroit Pistons for last place in the Eastern Conference. Toronto is coming off a pair of stinging one-point losses to the Golden State Warriors and Portland Trail Blazers.
Despite their struggles, however, the 26-year old guard is having the best season of his career so far, averaging 20.9 points, 4.5 rebounds, 5.8 assists, and 1.3 steals while shooting 45.1% from the field and 38.9% from beyond the arc.
The Raptors hope to get their third win of the season when they face the Charlotte Hornets on Thursday.