The situation is evolving, and there aren’t many clear answers right now. But for starters, the Hawks will take Thursday off and aim to stay at their homes, and it’s likely more information will emerge as the league formulates plans moving forward.
In response to the coronavirus pandemic and following the NBA’s announcement, the G League also has suspended the 2019-20 season after Wednesday’s games. The Hawks’ affiliate, the College Park Skyhawks, had seven games remaining in its season, which was to end on March 28.
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Regarding how long the NBA season will remain suspended, there has been no formal announcement and it's impossible for the league to know at this point. But the CDC has listed the period of quarantine as "14 days from the last date of exposure, because 14 days is the longest incubation period seen for similar coronaviruses," so it seems it would have to be at least two weeks — in reality, it could be much longer, depending on how not only the league, but the country, continues to handle the virus and its spread.
“We had shootaround this morning, we had one update,” Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce said after Wednesday’s loss. “By the time we get to the arena, there’s another update. And by the time this game ended, I mean, really, we had some updates at halftime. To be honest with you, we were talking about the Gobert situation at halftime. I didn’t want to be bashful or try and be Mr. Coach, I let the guys know this could be it, this could be the last time we’re playing in front of our fans.”
Pierce said he had no idea if the Hawks would end up playing their remaining 15 games on the schedule. As far as the team practicing, it didn’t sound as if he was in a rush to get the team back to the practice facility.
“I can’t imagine we’re telling our guys to come in just to come in,” Pierce said. “Find ways to stay in shape, if you want to do so. We’ll all know at the same time and we’ll make decisions there, but safety is for everybody. ... That’s the most important thing we can do right now.”
As far as players on the team being tested, Pierce said the league hadn’t told the Hawks or recommended they get tested, but they’ll stay updated on that front.
After a chaotic day and with plenty of uncertainty on the horizon, with more information to come, the Hawks’ plan is to take a beat but stay in touch via group messages, while continuing to exercise caution.
"Right now, we're just not doing anything tomorrow, just staying at home," Trae Young said. "Obviously, the league is going to be talking to our front office people constantly. For us, we've got to be on the lookout and just be ready to receive whatever message our people tell us. Just stay away as much as you can from public places, obviously. Wash your hands, things like that, so there's obviously precautions."