NBA says 25 players, 10 staffers tested positive for virus

Some 25 NBA players have tested positive for COVID-19 since testing began last week ahead of the planned season restart, the league and players union announced on July 2, 2020. (AFP / GETTY IMAGES File photo)
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Updated 02 July 2020

NBA says 25 players, 10 staffers tested positive for virus

  • The NBA plans to resume the season on July 30 with 22 teams conducting games without spectators in a bubble environment at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

NEW YORK: There have been 25 NBA players who were positive for COVID-19 since testing began last week ahead of the planned season restart, the league and players union announced Thursday.
In the latest results, the NBA and National Basketball Players Association said 25 of 351 players have tested positive since testing started June 23.
Nine players tested positive for the coronavirus from 344 players tested between June 24-29.
Tests of 884 team staff members from June 23-29 showed 10 coronavirus positives.
Any player, coach or team staff member testing positive must remain in self-isolation until meeting public health protocols and receiving clearance from a physician.
The NBA shut down the 2019-20 season on March 11 after Utah’s Rudy Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus.
The NBA plans to resume the season on July 30 with 22 teams conducting games without spectators in a bubble environment at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.
Teams are set to travel to Orlando next Tuesday through Thursday to conduct training camps and scrimmages from July 9-29.
Seedings games, eight for each team, are set to begin July 30 with the Los Angeles Lakers playing the Los Angeles Clippers and the Utah Jazz facing the New Orleans Pelicans.
After those contests complete the season, and following any play-in games that might be needed, the NBA playoffs are set to begin August 17 with the NBA Finals set to begin on September 30.


Fati delights, Jovic disappoints, optimism for Atletico

Updated 30 September 2020

Fati delights, Jovic disappoints, optimism for Atletico

  • Atletico scored 19 fewer goals than champions Real Madrid last season and 35 fewer than Barcelona

MADRID: Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid will all be hoping to build on their first wins of the season as La Liga heads into its fourth round of games this week.

Here are the five talking points ahead of the midweek fixtures.

For the first time in a long time, Barcelona can enjoy some calm after a 4-0 win over Villarreal in their first match of the season on Sunday.

Lionel Messi scored on his first competitive appearance since attempting to leave in the summer but most exciting was the performance of the 17-year-old Ansu Fati, who scored twice and won a penalty.

Ronald Koeman must decide how to make the most of the teenager, whose maturity on the pitch belies his age and whose body might not be ready to start every week.

But Fati's pace, movement and decision-making are all so impressive it will be difficult to leave him out, as Barca look to build on that win at Celta Vigo on Thursday.

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane switched to a 4-4-2 formation during his team's 3-2 win at Real Betis on Saturday as Luka Jovic was deployed up front alongside Karim Benzema.

But the Serbian striker failed to take his chance, instead enduring another underwhelming night before going off with 18 minutes to go.

It remains to be seen whether Zidane persists with Jovic at home to Real Valladolid on Wednesday, or at all, given Madrid could yet decide to let their €60 million (today $70 million) signing leave before the end of the transfer window.

When Eden Hazard regains fitness, that spot next to Benzema will belong to the Belgian so Jovic's window of opportunity may be small. Time would appear to be running out.

Atletico scored 19 fewer goals than champions Real Madrid last season and 35 fewer than Barcelona.

So hitting six against Granada on Sunday offered some early encouragement that this season's Atletico, boosted by the arrival of Luis Suarez in attack, can put those scoring problems behind them.

Suarez stole the show after scoring twice on his debut but Joao Felix was arguably the biggest plus for Diego Simeone, who will hope the 20-year-old's excellent display is the start of a more consistent campaign.

Atletico go up against newly promoted Huesca on Wednesday, the kind of game they slipped up in too often last season.

Even defeat by Real Madrid could not knock Real Betis off the top of the table, as Manuel Pellegrini's team enjoy the benefits of a strong start and more games played than the traditional powerhouses three weeks into the season.

But there is cause for optimism longer-term as Betis began with wins against Alaves and Real Valladolid, before matching Madrid for prolonged spells until their opponents pulled away in the second half.

With the likes of Nabil Fekir, Sergio Canales and Joaquin, this Betis squad has not lacked for attacking talent but solidity at the back has too often been an afterthought.

Villarreal face Alaves on Wednesday, with pressure already on both coaches. Villarreal have four points from their opening three games but a 4-0 hammering at the hands of Barcelona on Sunday, as well as a draw at home to newly-promoted Huesca means Unai Emery could do with a victory.

Alaves, meanwhile, are second bottom after managing just a point from their first three games, with Pablo Machin seeking a first win at la Ceramica.

Valencia have also made a stuttering start, a draw at home to Huesca on Saturday coming on the back of a surprise loss away at Celta Vigo.

New coach Javi Gracia has already expressed disappointment with the club's summer transfer dealings, meaning credit with the board may be lacking if results do not improve.