Since Monday morning, the headlines and news tweets have come fast and furious — there’s no more sheltering professional leagues from COVID-19 and the Omicron variant. The NBA, NFL and NHL are all dealing with team-wide outbreaks across the U.S., with the biggest in Chicago with the Bulls. The Raptors are already seeing changes as a result of that, with their next scheduled game on Thursday postponed to a later date.
Tonight, there is no postponement, but the Nets are seeing players drop into health and safety protocol like flies over the last 48 hours.
Four Nets -- LaMarcus Aldridge, DeAndre Bembry, Jevon Carter and James Johnson -- have entered health and safety protocols and are listed out tonight vs. Toronto.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) December 14, 2021
With Kevin Durant a game-time decision due to ankle soreness, the Nets could be down to just nine players before tip-off — making this an excellent circumstantial opportunity for the Raptors, even as five point underdogs.
They’ll be hoping to ride some momentum from last night’s outstanding 124-101 win over the Kings, which left their opponents soul-searching in a players’ only meeting. If Durant goes, his matchup with Scottie Barnes will be one to watch, as the two are sure to see some time on each other as the game progresses.
If he doesn’t, the marquee matchup turns to Fred VanVleet and James Harden in the backcourt — both of whom have been carrying weight for teams with short benches.
Regardless, it should be an interesting one, and maybe one we should savour with a fog resembling March 2020 continuing to descend on the sports world.
UPDATE (7:09 PM): Though Durant is a go-ahead, even more Nets will be out tonight — including James Harden.
available for the nets tonight:— James Herbert (@outsidethenba) December 14, 2021
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Here are the game details.
Where to Watch:
Sportsnet, 7:30 PM ET
Toronto – Fred VanVleet, Gary Trent Jr., Scottie Barnes, Pascal Siakam, Chris Boucher
Brooklyn – Patty Mills, Kevin Durant, Blake Griffin, Nic Claxton, David Duke Jr.
Toronto – Precious Achiuwa (health and safety protocols – out), OG Anunoby (hip – out), Dalano Banton (illness – out), Khem Birch (knee – out), Goran Dragic (personal – out), David Johnson (calf – out)
Brooklyn – Joe Harris (ankle – out), Paul Millsap (health and safety protocols – out), James Johnson (health and safety protocols – out), Jevon Carter (health and safety protocols – out), DeAndre’ Bembry (health and safety protocols – out), LaMarcus Aldridge (health and safety protocols – out), Kyrie Irving (waiting for Beyond Pfizer shot – out)