NBA IS SETTING A GREAT EXAMPLE

How Russell Westbrook's positive test proves league protocols are working

Photo by Getty Images.

Russell Westbrook made news Monday when he announced that he tested positive for COVID-19. However, the significance of Westbrook testing positive BEFORE he departed with the rest of his Rockets teammates to Orlando proves that the NBA testing protocols are working.

You never want to see anyone test positive for coronavirus but it is important to try and put things in perspective and not be alarmed over every positive test. The league announced the results of 322 tests that they have conducted on players since teams started to arrive inside the Disney World bubble. Out of the 322 players tested just two were positive and those players are isolating away from everybody else. I'm not a math guy but 0.6% of players testing positive is an unbelievably strong number for the league. Let's hope the media focuses on the 0.6% instead of the two players on-site that have COVID-19.

Testing positive for COVID-19 is not an automatic death sentence and some in the media need to stop treating it as if it is. Positive tests are happening around our country and unfortunately, they will continue to happen. You can't eradicate this virus overnight but you can try and be careful and take proper measures to help contain it as the NBA has done. Any athlete that gets the virus is surrounded by the best doctors the league can provide.

I initially questioned the NBA restarting in late July when it was first announced at the beginning of June as I had hoped to see the league return sooner, but I now understand why the NBA did what it did. The late July start allowed teams to test their players regularly once training facilities reopened in anticipation of traveling down to Orlando for the restart. This helped prevent anyone that has the virus from spreading it to teammates and others before traveling to the bubble. Now having an additional two weeks to prepare for the 8 game regular season, means that a player like Westbrook that has COVID-19 can still fully recover, test negative, travel down to Orlando, and not miss a significant amount of games as long as he proves that he is healthy.

The NBA has made it possible to resume its season by having a great testing protocol in place to prevent a virus outbreak and by spending the money to make the bubble happen. Props to Commissioner Adam Silver and the NBAPA for taking this seriously and for getting it right.


You can listen to The Jake Asman Show weekdays from 8 AM -10 AM Central on SB Nation Radio.

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After a rough, disheartening loss the night before to even the series at one game apiece, the Astros tried to shake it off and regroup for a win on Thursday to get the series win against the Diamondbacks in Arizona. Here is a quick recap of the finale:

Final Score: Diamondbacks 5, Astros 4.

Record: 6-6, second in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Junior Guerra (1-0, 0.00 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Ryan Pressly (0-1, 40.50 ERA).

Bielak tosses an impressive start as Houston puts him in winning position

After both teams finished the first three innings scoreless, the Astros were able to get a little bit of good luck on their side, unlike the night prior. Jose Altuve started the inning with a much-needed single, stole second, then moved to third on a groundout for the second out. That set up Yuli Gurriel, who hit a ball down the third-base line that would strike the bag and bounce away from Arizona, allowing Altuve to score and put Houston up 1-0.

Though he likely would have preferred more run support, Brandon Bielak made do with that one run in his first career MLB start. He was able to complete five innings of work, holding Arizona scoreless over that span despite allowing a runner in each inning. He left in line for the win, with a final line of 5.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 1 K, 0 HR.

Altuve extends the lead, then Diamondbacks go ahead

Jose Altuve helped double the lead in the top of the sixth, connecting for a one-out solo home run to make it 2-0. With Bielak's night over at five innings, Cy Sneed took over in the bottom of the sixth and allowed back-to-back one-out doubles to cut Houston's lead in half. He allowed a single to put runners on the corners before Dusty Baker would move on to another reliever to try and preserve the lead. Blake Taylor would enter but allowed the tying RBI-single to take Bielak out of winning position. Taylor would go on to allow a go-ahead run before getting out of the jam.

In the bottom of the seventh, Taylor was still on the mound but would only get two outs before another call to the pen. Andre Scrubb would enter and get the final out of the inning. In the top of the eighth, Jose Altuve would improve to 3-for-4 on the night with a two-out double, setting up Alex Bregman for a go-ahead two-run home run to make it 4-3, Houston.

Ryan Pressly allows the walk-off

Scrubb went back to the mound in the bottom of the eighth and was able to record a 1-2-3 inning to move the game to the ninth. After a scoreless top of the ninth, Ryan Pressly would attempt to get the save in the bottom of the inning. Instead, he would allow the walk-off, loading the bases with no outs on a walk and two singles before a two-RBI single to give Arizona the win and the series victory.

Up Next: The Astros will travel to Oakland to kick off a three-game weekend series with the A's on Friday at 8:10 PM Central. The A's will send Chris Bassitt (1-0, 0.93 ERA) to the mound while Houston will turn to Zack Greinke (0-0, 5.00 ERA) to help cut down Oakland's division lead.

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