The NBA postponed another game due to COVID-19 cases on Thursday night, bringing the total to 11 since the start of the season.
The Golden State Warriors’ scheduled game in Denver was postponed as the Nuggets were unable to provide the minimum number of players required to start the game. The team is grieved by injuries and a recent outbreak of cases of the virus.
If they had played, the Nuggets would still have been deprived of their head coach Michael Malone. His name was added to the COVID-19 protocol list on Thursday, as was that of the 76’s coachers by Philadelphia Doc Rivers.
The assistant coach of the 76ers Dan Burke took the helm in Rivers’ absence and led his team to a 110-102 victory over the Brooklyn Nets.
“It’s a great team victory,” said Burke. I’m happy for Doc and for what he’s built. ”
Other NBA head coaches subject to protocol are Frank Vogel (Los Angeles Lakers), Billy Donovan (Chicago Bulls), Monty Williams (Phoenix Suns), Chauncey Billups (Portland Trail Blazers) and Mark Daigneault (Thunder of Oklahoma City).
About 123 players, as well as an undisclosed number of staff from the various formations, assistant coaches, statisticians, referees and others were kept on the sidelines due to the virus on Thursday evening.
“It’s very grueling psychologically,” said Trail Blazers assistant coach Scott Brooks, who replaces Billups during his absence.
The Raptors are getting better
Thursday was a positive day for some teams, however. The Toronto Raptors, who have been hit hard by the virus in recent weeks, have been able to hold training with most of their players.
Guard Fred VanVleet was one of the returning players, who has just suffered from COVID-19 for a second time. Her experience with the disease was similar to that of several other athletes who contracted the virus, but it had nothing to do with her first encounter with the virus.
“It wasn’t like last year,” said VanVleet. It was a different experience, with different symptoms. I will definitely need some time to get back in shape, but the climb up is much less steep than the last time.
“I hope the worst is behind me. I can’t speak for the others, but it hasn’t been that bad this time. ”
When VanVleet returns to the field in Toronto on Friday against the Los Angeles Clippers, only 1,000 fans will be able to see him in action there. The Ontario government has limited the capacity of the amphitheatres to 1,000 spectators for large events.
“It’s a situation that we really don’t have control over,” said Raptors coach Nick Nurse. I believe no one knows how to get away from the virus, how to catch it, or how not to catch it. I think this is all a bit of luck for everyone. I’m doing the best I can, as we all should. ”
The Raptors expect their amphitheater capacity limit to be in place for three weeks.