Despite the NBA's struggles to continue playing with COVID-19 outbreaks and contact tracing hitting multiple teams, sources across the league don't expect a shutdown of the season or moving back to a bubble.
One Western Conference head athletic trainer, who spoke on the condition of anonymity about the events of the past week, said, "It's just a reflection of what's going on in every city. I mean, we're doing lots of things, but we're not living in a bubble [anymore]."
The league is not entirely surprised by the postponements and also believe there have not been grave breakdowns in any one area, especially the NBA's protocols.
"Nobody wanting to go back to a long bubble period of play has put us in this position," said one Western Conference general manager. "It is doable but suboptimal."
There is the hope that these stricter protocols will help carry teams through the current nationwide surge and won't be in place all season.
For now, several team health officials and indeed league officials say that even if the protocols in place are sound, the season will be imperfect.
"This is essentially a moving bubble that gets popped every now and then," said one Western Conference athletic training official.