In the wake of a series of postponements related to both COVID-19 and severe weather in Texas, the NBA is adding a pair of new games to its schedule for this week. The Nuggets and Cavaliers will play in Cleveland on Friday, according to an official announcement. Meanwhile, the Bulls will host the Pistons on Wednesday in Chicago, per Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic (Twitter link).
The Bulls were initially scheduled to play in Charlotte on Wednesday, while the Pistons were supposed to play in Dallas. However, the Hornets were affected by coronavirus contact tracing and the Mavs are dealing with a weather-related state of emergency in the area, so Chicago and Detroit will instead play each other.
Meanwhile, the Nuggets had been scheduled to play in Charlotte on Friday night, but that Hornets game has been postponed as well due to contact tracing. The Cavaliers, whose Wednesday contest vs. San Antonio was postponed, were scheduled to be inactive until Sunday, so a Friday game easily fits into their schedule.
Neither new game is a makeup of an earlier postponement, but playing those games this week will allow the NBA to avoid having to schedule them in the second half.
Here are more odds and ends from around the basketball world:
- Veteran NBA forward Brandon Bass has joined Team USA’s roster for the upcoming FIBA AmeriCup qualifying games in Puerto Rico, tweets Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press. Meanwhile, Canada’s roster for those qualifiers is headlined by former No. 1 overall pick Anthony Bennett, as Blake Murphy of The Athletic relays (via Twitter).
- In the wake of Jalen Johnson‘s decision to forgo the rest of the NCAA season and enter the draft, ESPN’s Jonathan Givony (Insider link) and Sam Vecenie and Brendan Marks of The Athletic examine the implications of the Duke freshman’s opt-out. Givony hears from sources that a foot injury Johnson suffered in mid-December never fully healed and still isn’t 100% — sitting the rest of the season should give the projected lottery pick an opportunity to get healthy.
- Atlanta mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has issued a statement asking fans not to travel to Atlanta for this year’s All-Star Game, which won’t be a ticketed event, writes Sarah K. Spencer of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Although the game won’t be open to the general public, some family members of All-Stars, local health-care workers, and students and staff members from local HBCUs are expected to be in the arena, according to Spencer, who estimates an attendance of about 1,200 to 1,500 people.