Toronto basketball fans are going to miss at least two NBA games.
The Raptors have postponed today’s game (Dec. 16), but it’s not due to omicron. The Raptors vs. Chicago game faces delay due to a potential COVID-19 outbreak on the Bulls.
The NBA announced Monday that the Bulls would postpone their Toronto game and a home game against Detroit.
The Chicago Bulls has ten players and staff members following the NBA’s health and safety protocol.
Stars Zach LaVine and Troy Brown Jr. entered the league’s protocols on Sunday. Forward Alize Johnson joined them later Monday. The list also includes Devon Dotson, Tyler Cook, Alfonzo McKinnie and Marko Simonovic.
That leaves the Bulls with eight players, the league’s minimum to field a team.
The rules are the same for everybody – once a player tests positive, they must self-isolate for at least ten days. Or they can return after two negative PCR tests in 24 hours.
Raptors coach, Nick Nurse, attended the Giants of Africa event but wasn’t deemed a close contact. However, he has returned to wearing a mask on the team’s sideline for the first time this year.
“I think it’s kind of just reality,” Nurse said. “When there’s a situation that we’ve been made aware of, then you step up and do everything you’re asked to do. And you do it together, and you do it with positivity.”
To be or not to be
Two weeks ago, Ontario announced that it had detected its first two omicron cases. This week, the province had 1,476 new cases, increasing the seven-day average to 1,236. Last week it was 761.
After talking to The Sports Network’s Rick Westhead, Dr. Andrew Morris predicted that the government will soon close NBA and NHL games to fans.
In the short term, capacities for events at Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment venues will be reduced to 50 percent starting Saturday. The company reiterated support for the government’s decision to tighten restrictions with today’s announcement.
Whether the province will lock things down further is unknown.
For now, catch the Raptors on their home court:
- Dec. 18 vs. Golden State Warriors, 7:30 p.m. ET
- Dec. 20 vs. Orlando Magic, 7:30 p.m. ET
- Dec. 28 vs. Philadelphia 76ers, 7:30 p.m. ET
Raptors’ broadcasters deemed close contacts
Matt Devlin and Jack Armstrong, the Raptors television broadcast duo, will also isolate. It’s because they were in contact with a person outside the organization who has since tested positive for COVID-19.
The pair will miss at least two games.
“As a result, and out of an abundance of caution, Matt Devlin and Jack Armstrong have decided to stay away from work and self-monitor for a period of time,” the statement said.
“Though this action is not mandated by the NBA, we are especially mindful of the example Matt and Jack set for so many people across the country, and we are very grateful to them for their consideration and responsibility.”