The NBA did not release a full schedule heading into the 2020-21 season, choosing instead to just release the first half, which runs through March 4. It did so due to COVID-19 concerns, and to give itself some additional flexibility in the event that games had to be rescheduled.
That proved to be a wise decision as nearly two dozen games have already been postponed because of the pandemic. Originally those were set to be made up in the second half of the schedule, but because certain teams, such as the Washington Wizards, have had so many games called off, the league has changed course.
On Wednesday, they announced three schedule changes in a press release which reads as follows:
The National Basketball Association announced today that it will reschedule during the First Half of the season certain games that were previously postponed. In addition, certain games that were otherwise scheduled for the Second Half will now be scheduled into the First Half, with a specific focus on the teams with the most postponed games to date. To create maximum flexibility, dates of existing games may also be moved in order to schedule additional games into the First Half.
Here's a look at the schedule changes:
- Portland Trail Blazers vs. Washington Wizards -- Feb. 2, 8 p.m. ET (originally scheduled for second half of season)
- Washington Wizards at Charlotte Hornets -- Feb. 7, 1 p.m. ET (rescheduled from Jan. 20)
- Portland Trail Blazers at Charlotte Hornets -- Postponed (moved to second half of season)
Because of a COVID-19 outbreak, the Wizards had six straight games postponed in the middle of January, and did not play for a few weeks. Moving all of those games to the second half of the season would have created a big problem for not only them, but the teams they were set to face.
There really isn't a perfect solution here, but getting some of those games out of the way in the first half of the season will prevent the Wizards from having a completely backlogged schedule.