Jayson Tatum, Davis Bertans, Moritz Wagner

After scoring 32 points on Friday night against the Washington Wizards, Boston’s Jayson Tatum learned that he had tested positive for COVID-19, according to a Boston Globe report. He’s one of seven Celtics players currently sidelined because of the NBA’s coronavirus protocols. Elise Amendola/Associated Press

Boston was going to have to face Miami with the NBA minimum of eight players on Sunday night. In the end, the Heat weren’t even certain they would have that many.

Sunday’s game between Boston and Miami was postponed – not because the Celtics ruled out seven players as a result of the league’s health and safety protocols for playing during the coronavirus pandemic, but because of concerns of exposure within the Heat roster.

No fewer than 15 players around the league were officially declared unable to play Sunday for virus-related reasons.

The Celtics had seven of those players and Miami had another. But after Heat guard Avery Bradley was ruled out – his test result was not announced, just his status – the rest of the Miami players needed their contact-tracing data analyzed to determine if they had been exposed.

That process would not have been completed in time for the 7 p.m. game, so the league called it off. Boston was preparing to play with eight available players; the Celtics have 17 on their roster, but seven were out because of the COVID-19 protocols and two are injured.

Meanwhile, the Heat simply were not cleared to play.

“We anticipated that there would be game postponements this season and planned the schedule accordingly,” NBA spokesman Mike Bass said in a statement distributed to The Associated Press and other outlets. “There are no plans to pause the season, and we will continue to be guided by our medical experts and health and safety protocols.”

According to reports, Boston’s Robert Williams and Jayson Tatum have tested positive for COVID-19. Both were ruled out for Sunday’s game, as were Jaylen Brown, Javonte Green, Semi Ojeleye, Tristan Thompson and Grant Williams. The league does not announce which players have tested positive and which are sidelined because of contract tracing.

The NBA had 148 games on the schedule so far through Sunday; the Boston-Miami game was only the second to be postponed for virus-related reasons. The other was Dec. 23, an Oklahoma City at Houston game where the Rockets did not have the required eight players available.

But many teams are feeling the effects of missing players because of testing or other possible exposure. Brooklyn’s Kevin Durant had the virus last spring, but he had to miss three games last week after being exposed to someone who had tested positive. He returned to the Nets on Sunday night.

“You are starting to see what is going on in our country directly affect the NBA because we are no longer in that safety net of the bubble,” Denver Coach Michael Malone said in New York after hearing of the Celtics-Heat postponement.

The Heat were staying in Boston overnight while the tracing process continued and is scheduled to play in Philadelphia – another team with virus-related issues – on Tuesday and Thursday. The 76ers played only seven players Saturday in a loss to Denver, doing so in part because some were ruled out in accordance with the virus protocols.

The NBA and National Basketball Players Association put together a plan last year to finish the season in a bubble environment at Walt Disney World in Florida, where nobody tested positive and no games were missed because of the virus. But it’s hardly been uncommon for NBA players to miss games this season over virus-related issues, without the safety of the bubble. In Brooklyn, Kevin Durant returned to the Nets on Sunday night after missing three games because of the virus protocols.

“I think the NBA’s doing all they can and they’re doing a great job, and the (National Basketball Players Association) as well, working together to do a great job to make sure we are as safe as possible,” Indiana guard Victor Oladipo said. “It’s tough. You can try your best and unfortunately there will still be some people that catch it.”

Bradley, who signed with the Heat during the offseason, opted not to join the Los Angeles Lakers, his former team, in the bubble last year because he has a child with breathing problems and did not want to take any unnecessary risks.

“The numbers are spiking,” Heat Coach Erik Spoelstra said Saturday. “That is the reality. We are committed to proceeding with our industry and we’re doing it with all the best science and adherence to the protocols, but ultimately we’re not in control.”

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