Sixers Forced to Play with 8 Players as NBA Faces its First Outbreak
It started with Seth Curry’s mid-game positive COVID test and manifested into an entire outbreak.
On Saturday afternoon, the Philadelphia 76ers were forced to play an entire game with only eight players as the likes of Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and others were missing either due injury or health and safety protocols.
“Ben in the Brooklyn game had some knee stiffness,” Sixers head coach Doc Rivers said. “So we almost probably knew after the game that he wouldn’t play tonight. And then Joel started complaining about his back — started yesterday. And we didn’t know if he was playing or not but honestly, with the minutes we would have to ask, it would be insane to play him tonight.”
COVID-19 is starting to have an impact else where around the league as well following a couple of weeks of optimism. As previously reported, Kevin Durant has been missing due to COVID-19 protocols, and most recently stars Jayson Tatum, Bradley Beal, and a number of players on the Dallas Mavericks entered protocol as well.
The NBA will most certainly roll on as this hurdle was surely expected to occur at some point during a long season. It will be interesting to monitor how the league will handle its first bout of serious exposure to the virus.
No matter what, the league will look to prioritize the health and safety of its players.