The Detroit Pistons and Denver Nuggets were told that they weren’t going to get to play their scheduled Monday night game in Denver mere minutes before the 9pm tipoff at Ball Arena because of contact tracing within the Pistons organization, the NBA announced.
Detroit apparently returned a positive or inconclusive test for one of its players, sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The NBA had recently made the decision to postpone games if a single test came back potentially positive.
It was supposed to be a bit of a homecoming, as Detroit’s Jerami Grant and Mason Plumlee were making their return to Denver for the first time since leaving the franchise in free agency this past offseason. Nuggets players were happy to see Grant and Plumlee and were chatting and embracing their old comrades during pregame warmups. The Pistons were going through a final pregame film session when they were told the game had been postponed.
Nuggets fans have nothing to worry about, as the issue was solely with the Pistons, and they’ll be off until Thursday anyway, at which point they’ll engage in a Western Conference Finals rematch with the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Pistons, meanwhile, are in the midst of a five-game West Coast road trip that has them headed to Utah to take on the Jazz on Tuesday before weekend dates with the Suns in Phoenix (Friday) and Lakers in L.A. (Saturday.
The team remained in Denver on Monday night to do some retesting and get all of their contact tracing issues sorted out. They are still set to depart to Salt Lake City and are expected to be able to play against the Jazz on Tuesday night, a game for which they are being given +505 NBA odds to win.
After a rash of postponements over the final three weeks of January, there was a four day period where it seemed the NBA had gotten over the COVID hump, but then the postponement of Pistons-Nuggets came and the streak was broken. The NBA has now postponed 23 games, two of which have already been rescheduled.