NBA’s Toronto Raptors Vs. Chicago Bulls Game Postponed By Covid-19 Player Shortage

Bruce Haring
·2 min read

The Toronto Raptors had to postpone its National Basketball Assn. Sunday night game against the Chicago Bulls because it couldn’t field the league’s requirement of suiting up eight players.

Several Toronto coaches, including head coach Nick Nurse, and forward Pascal Siakam had to sit out Friday’s game against the Houston Rockets because of the NBA’s health and safety protocols. The league investigated the contacts and determined that too much risk was involved in continuing tonight

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The Raptors are next scheduled to host the Detroit Pistons on Tuesday before a game against the Celtics in Boston on Thursday. Both those games are now in jeopardy. Also being watched is Houston’s game against the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday night, given the proximity of the players from Friday’s game.

The Raptors are perhaps the team most affected by the Covid-19 restrictions of the season. They are playing their home games this season at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Fla. because of Canada’s travel restrictions during the pandemic.

“We spoke to the NBA,” said Raptors general manager Bobby Webster, explaining why the team played on Friday. “One way to think about it is, we get tested twice in the morning, and so if those tests come back negative, that kind of gives you the clearance to participate in activities that day, and then you can even do some testing later in the day if you’re concerned about it. I think once the negative tests came back this afternoon, I think that gave the NBA the comfort that at least for today, we’re clear.”

The NBA already has a truncated schedule, and the second half of the season will speed up the time between games in order to get in a 72-game regular season. There is hardly room to add games that are postponed, as the NBA wants to get the playoffs completed on time before the scheduled start of the Olympic Games in late July.

The NBA has been tightening its protocols, but in the last two weeks, the San Antonio Spurs, Charlotte Hornets and now the Raptors have had multiple games postponed by the coronavirus.

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