Monday night, the Portland Trail Blazers were in Minnesota to take on the Timberwolves in an important Western Conference matchup. Both teams are currently just outside the playoff picture, and need every win they can get down the stretch. As you might recall, however, the game was cancelled due to the floor being, in
Thursday, it was announced that the game has been rescheduled for April 3 at 7 p.m. ET. That date, which is the night of the NCAA men’s basketball national championship game, was originally an off-night for every single NBA team.
CJ McCollum, for one, is not too pleased with the rescheduling of the game. In his mind, the Wolves should have been handed an automatic loss for not having the court ready to go, and the two teams should have moved on with their seasons.
At first glance, that seems harsh; rescheduling a game to a night both teams are off isn’t such a big deal, right? Well, let’s take a look at the schedule before and after April 3.
Originally, the Blazers were scheduled for a three-game homestand from March 28 to April 1, following which they were to have two days off before heading to Utah for their last road game of the season. Now, the Blazers only have one day off after that homestand, and must fly halfway across the country to play Minnesota, then immediately fly all the way back to Utah to play the Jazz on the road in what now becomes the second leg of a brutal back-to-back.
As for the Wolves, they were scheduled to be at home before the April 3 makeup game, so the travel on the front end isn’t an issue for them. But on April 4 they are scheduled to take on Golden State in Oakland in the first game of a difficult four-games-in-six-days West Coast swing. Like the Blazers, the Wolves are now faced with a daunting road game on the second night of a back-to-back. In addition, the Wolves will now have to play five games in seven days, which figures to be quite taxing.
While punishing the Wolves players for something they had nothing to do with probably isn’t the right move, it’s easy to see where McCollum is coming from. The rescheduled game is sure to be a pain for both squads, and could have a big impact on the race for the eighth seed out West.