While the NBA has seemed a bit loose at times with their health and safety protocols (e.g. during the Kevin Durant imbroglio against the Raptors), it’s good to see them taking the situation seriously here. Even if, yes, it involves the Raptors’ star player Pascal Siakam. As reported, the Raptors are currently down most of their coaching staff, including head coach Nick Nurse. In addition to that, Siakam was also required to sit out Friday night’s game against Houston (which the Raptors won handily).
Before last night’s game, Toronto’s general manager Bobby Webster was asked if the situation with the coaches and Siakam’s absence were related but he could not confirm if they were indeed linked. After a positive test among the team’s coaches, steps had to be taken to isolate the staff, ensure that everyone was OK, and that further outbreak was contained — but that’s as far as we can speculate for now. The matter we can discuss now is the reported timeline with regards to Siakam, as tweeted by Woj at ESPN:
Toronto Raptors star Pascal Siakam is expected to remain in the league’s Health and Safety protocol through the All-Star break, missing the final three games of the first half, sources tell ESPN. Siakam sat out Friday’s victory over Houston in the protocol.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 27, 2021
So, given the above information, the next time we’ll see Siakam on the court for the Raptors is March 11 vs. the Hawks — at the earliest. Toronto will have to go ahead without him for the next three games (vs. Detroit, Chicago, and Boston), and then all involved can take a well-deserved break during the All-Star weekend festitivies.
Here’s hoping the Raptors coaching staff is OK. Here’s hoping that all of this is merely precautionary and the COVID situation around the team is cleared soon. And here’s hoping we can see Siakam back on the court on the 11th — and at full-speed.