That left Houston with seven players.
The Philadelphia 76ers and Boston Celtics were almost unable to meet the requirements of playing with eight available players this weekend because of players quarantined due to positive tests and contact tracing; and the Miami Heat, left with seven eligible players on Sunday, had its game with Boston postponed. Nine Boston players wouldn't have been able to dress, including seven due to the league's health and safety protocols.
The NBA suspended the 2019-20 season due to COVID-19, but the league must believe that the issue isn't too widespread at the current time.
"You are starting to see what is going on in our country directly affect the National Basketball Association because we are no longer in that safety net of the bubble", said Denver coach Michael Malone, whose club has been without Michael Porter Jr. for its last six games - and counting - because of the league's protocols.
The Celtics own a 7-3 record in the Eastern Conference; the Heat, last season's NBA Finals runners-up, are 4-4. That's the most any team has been without because of virus-related issues so far this season but does not necessarily mean any of the affected Celtics tested positive. The players out included Jaylen Brown, Tristan Thompson, Semi Ojeleye, Robert Williams, Grant Williams, and Javonte Green, in addition to Jayson Tatum - who reportedly tested positive.
Since the league started releasing weekly numbers of positive tests among players, including its most recent data on January 7, there have been 63 confirmed cases out of roughly 550 players.