If the Sixers and Celtics play Monday night in Boston, it won’t resemble a normal NBA game.
After the Sixers’ scheduled matchup Sunday with the Pelicans was postponed following Shake Milton and Andre Drummond being placed into health and safety protocols, they appear set to face Boston at 7:30 p.m. ET barring any further COVID-19 issues with either team. Of course, that’s a significant caveat given the flood of positive cases around the NBA over the past week.
As of the 12:30 p.m. injury report, the Sixers had listed six players out. Along with Drummond and Milton, Georges Niang (health and safety protocols), Furkan Korkmaz (non-COVID illness), Jaden Springer (concussion protocol) and Ben Simmons (personal reasons) were sidelined.
Joel Embiid (ankle soreness), Danny Green (hip soreness) and Tyrese Maxey (quad contusion) were questionable, as was the case Sunday.
The team called Myles Powell, Aaron Henry and Paul Reed up to join the club in Boston. That trio played Sunday night in the Delaware Blue Coats’ win over the Fort Wayne Mad Ants at the G League Winter Showcase in Las Vegas.
If none of the Sixers’ questionable players were available, the team would meet the eight-player minimum required to play a game:
- Seth Curry
- Tobias Harris
- Matisse Thybulle
- Isaiah Joe
- Charles Bassey
- Paul Reed
- Aaron Henry
- Myles Powell
Seven Celtics were listed as out for Monday’s game because of health and safety protocols, including former Sixers Josh Richardson and Al Horford. Boston’s Jayson Tatum (ankle sprain), Romeo Langford (neck pain) and Dennis Schroder (non-COVID illness) were questionable.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported the Celtics are signing 34-year-old wing CJ Miles via hardship exemption.
In response to the COVID-19 surge, the NBA seems determined to keep the games going, weighing that over health concerns and availability of star talent. ESPN reported Sunday night that the league and NBPA agreed to new rules that not only allow teams to sign a replacement player for each positive COVID-19 case but mandate such signings if a team has two or more positive cases.
Update: The Sixers are signing Tyler Johnson to a 10-day contract. It's not yet known whether he'll be active for Sixers-Celtics.