The Chicago Bulls have been one of the best teams of the early NBA season, but over the last week they have seen a COVID-19 outbreak derail things, sending 10 players including stars DeMar DeRozan and Zach LaVine into the league’s health and safety protocols.
The shorthanded Bulls dropped back-to-back games against the Cavs and Heat, but as more and more names were added to the COVID protocol list, including some players who had been added as emergency replacements, it became clear the situation wasn’t tenable. With two games this week against the Pistons and Raptors and another player, Alize Johnson, going into COVID protocols on Monday, the league finally decided to issue its first postponements of the season, calling off their games against Detroit and in Toronto on Tuesday and Thursday.
The following was released by the NBA pic.twitter.com/afG3OqvqlB
— NBA Communications (@NBAPR) December 13, 2021
The Bulls technically would’ve had the 8 players needed to play, but as it was clear there was still an issue with exposure and spread as more and more members of the organization went into quarantine, the league made the right call to give them the week off. Hopefully, the Bulls can get guys healthy and back in time for Sunday’s game with the Lakers, without any more internal spread. As case counts rise in the United States once again and absences due to COVID have been piling up in the first third of the season, the NBA may not be done with postponements as we have been given a stark reminder that, no matter how much people want it to be over, we are still very much in the midst of a pandemic.