When the sun came up over the Wells Fargo Arena Saturday, Philadelphia only had six cleared, eligible players available for their scheduled game with Denver — seven players were in quarantine awaiting the result of contact tracing after Seth Curry tested positive for the coronavirus.
Enough players have been cleared that the game will go forward, barely, according to reports from Philadelphia. Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN broke the news, which has been confirmed by multiple sources.
The Sixers are expected to have nine eligible players today, including three cleared from protocol: Joel Embiid, Danny Green and Paul Reed, sources tell ESPN. https://t.co/4TBl3xJXaq
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 9, 2021
This ended up changing, and Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons (left knee stiffness) will sit out due to injury, while Mike Scott — who was expected to be out due to a left knee contusion — was activated to play but will not see the court, coach Doc Rivers said.
Also out for the Sixers are Seth Curry (coronavirus/health and safety), Furkan Korkmaz (groin), Terrance Ferguson (personal), Tobias Harris (health and safety), Shake Milton (health and safety), Vincent Poirier (health and safety), and Matisse Thybulle (health and safety).
NBA rules require eight players to be cleared and eligible to play for a game to go forward. Technically the Sixers have eight, but with Rivers saying Scott will not play it is functionally seven.
This game should have been postponed. The NBA has determined it should go ahead.
No other players on the 76ers tested positive for the coronavirus (outside of Curry).
Before the game, Sixers coach Doc Rivers was asked if he thought the game should go forward.
“I don’t think we should…” Rivers said before saying it was not his call to make.
“An hour ago we were told we were playing. We have eight active players. One is Mike Scott, and I can tell you right now there’s no way I’m going to play him.”
Rivers then joked Dwight Howard would play point guard.
So far, the NBA has had only one game postponed this season (Houston vs. Oklahoma City).