Nuggets battle vs. Grant, Pistons postponed due to contact tracing

The Denver Nuggets may not play the Detroit Pistons again until the second half of the season.

Per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Denver Nuggets’ matchup against the Detroit Pistons has been postponed after one of the Pistons’ players returned a positive or inconclusive COVID-19 test.

Denver, who has won six of their last seven games, would have been facing Jerami Grant — who was a prominent player in their last playoff run — for the first time since he left the team in free agency.

The Denver Post’s Mike Singer adds that the positive/inconclusive test didn’t belong to Grant or Mason Plumlee, who spent three-plus seasons with the Nuggets. This minimizes the chance that a Denver player will have contracted the virus, as multiple Nuggets players interacted with their former teammates.

Excluding their now postponed battle against the Pistons, Denver is scheduled to play five games over the next two weeks.

Their next scheduled game is on Feb. 4 against LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers, whom they fell to in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals.

While there’s going to be a relatively long layoff between games that could negatively affect the team’s rhythm, Denver benefits from this postponement. Injury-prone veteran guard Gary Harris (left abductor strain) and fourth-year pro P.J. Dozier (right hamstring strain), who were both listed as out against the Pistons, need all the time they can get to recover from their respective injuries. Both are rotation players highly valued for their defense and without them, the Nuggets’ already rocky perimeter defense will suffer tremendously.

Denver doesn’t have another matchup against Detroit scheduled for the first half of the 2020-21 season.