The NBA will be ramping up operations this week as all 22 teams are due to arrive at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, between Tuesday and Thursday.
The hope for the league is that by the time all 22 teams have arrived and completed a short quarantine, all positive coronavirus (COVID-19) tests will have been eliminated. Having everyone inside the bubble test negative will be a great start for preventing an outbreak.
However, while still in their home markets, several teams have had to take drastic measures to avoid outbreaks of their own. After multiple teams started receiving positive tests for the virus upon players returning to practice, teams had to cease operations until they could get to Orlando, effectively ending individual workouts.
Seven teams have shut down their practice facilities in the days leading up to Orlando, with no plans to re-open, according to Marc Stein of The New York Times:
Sacramento would be the seventh team of the 22 bound for Walt Disney World publicly known to take this measure at some point over the past two weeks since players were asked to be back in their home markets on June 22:
Kings, Bucks, Heat, Clippers, Nuggets, Suns and Nets https://t.co/wsXpdhyw3Q
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) July 6, 2020
These seven teams had to take this approach in order to avoid a significant number of players testing positive before even going to Orlando. This way, teams can get a large majority of their traveling party into the bubble safely while transporting the infected personnel separately.
This is just the beginning of what may be a tough logistical month for the NBA. Between now and July 30 — when seeding games begin — so many things will need to go the league’s way in order to ensure there is no second shutdown.
Some teams, like the Los Angeles Lakers, have remained fortunate during this period. However, with a virus as unpredictable as this one, that could change at any time. Teams will have to remain extremely vigilant and safe over the next few weeks.
Hopefully, the league has gotten through a large majority of their positive test results, and that those numbers will fade to zero once everyone is in the bubble. The good news is that every team appears to be taking the cautious approach, which may allow the NBA to get through this without a scratch.
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