The coronavirus is taking its toll on one of the 22 NBA teams headed to Orlando, Fla. in July for the 2019-20 season restart.
Brooklyn Nets center DeAndre Jordan announced on Twitter on Monday that he tested positive for the coronavirus and has opted not to play the remainder of the season.
Found out last night and confirmed again today that I’ve tested positive for Covid while being back in market. As a result of this, I will not be in Orlando for the resumption of the season.— DeAndre Jordan (@DeAndre) June 30, 2020
Jordan's revelation comes a few hours after teammate Spencer Dinwiddie told The Athletic that he too had tested positive for the coronavirus.
But unlike Jordan, Dinwiddie hasn't made a decision on his playing status for the games in Orlando.
“Over the past few months, I have been diligent about protecting myself and others from COVID-19 by following all designated protocol and quarantining,” Dinwiddie said Monday in a statement to The Athletic. “I was ready and prepared to rejoin my teammates as we were to be an early entry team in the resumed season. I flew private to return to New York, passed multiple COVID-19 tests over my first several days in New York and was able to participate in a couple practices within the first week.
“Originally, we were supposed to be one of the teams to enter into the Orlando bubble early, but training camp got switched back to New York and unfortunately I am now positive. Given that I have experienced symptoms, including fever and chest tightness, it is unclear on whether or not I’ll be able to participate in Orlando."
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Additionally, Nets forward Wilson Chandler told ESPN on Sunday that he informed the team he has decided to stay home and spend time with family, rather than play in Orlando.
Brooklyn currently holds a half-game lead over the Orlando Magic for the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference. The Magic should be able to leapfrog the Nets, and the No. 9 seeded Washington Wizards might be able to get close enough to Brooklyn in the standings to force a play-in game for the final seed in the East.
But the news that Jordan and Chandler won't play, and that Dinwiddie might not play also benefits the Kings.
The Kings' fifth game in Orlando is against the Nets. With no Jordan, Chandler, Kyrie Irving or Kevin Durant, and possibly no Dinwiddie, the Kings should be able to win that game easily.
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Locked in a tight race with the Memphis Grizzlies, New Orleans Pelicans, Portland Trail Blazers, San Antonio Spurs and Phoenix Suns, the Kings need to win as many of the eight games as possible. Going 5-3 would give Sacramento a good shot of forcing a play-in game(s) for the No. 8 seed in the West.
Considering all the uncertainties surrounding the games in Orlando, it might not be wise to assume the Kings beat the Nets on Aug. 7, but if they do, then they need to go 4-3 against the rest of their opponents. That's a daunting task considering their opponents, but it's not out of the question.