The NBA on Sunday postponed the 76ers’ scheduled game in Philadelphia against the New Orleans Pelicans after the team placed Shake Milton and Andre Drummond into health and safety protocols, the league announced.
With Milton and Drummond out, the Sixers had a long list of players on the injury report that also included Georges Niang (health and safety protocols), Furkan Korkmaz (non-COVID illness), and Jaden Springer (concussion protocol). Paul Reed and two-way player Aaron Henry are with the Delaware Blue Coats for the G League Winter Showcase in Las Vegas, meaning it would’ve been more difficult than usual to call them up to Philadelphia in time for a 7:00pm ET tip-off. Additionally, Joel Embiid (left ankle soreness), Tyrese Maxey (left quad contusion), and Danny Green (right hip soreness) were listed as questionable, as well.
Teams must be able to suit up at least eight players in order to play a game. If all of the Sixers’ questionable players were out, they would have fallen well short of that number. Seth Curry, Tobias Harris, Matisse Thybulle, Isaiah Joe, and Charles Bassey would have been the only Sixers available in that scenario.
A team official said tickets for Sunday’s matchup will be honored when the game is rescheduled.
The NBA also postponed Cleveland Cavaliers-Atlanta Hawks and Brooklyn Nets-Denver Nuggets games originally set for Sunday, as well as Orlando Magic-Toronto Raptors on Monday and Nets-Washington Wizards on Tuesday. COVID-19 cases have spiked around the league as of recent.
The next game on the Sixers’ calendar is Monday night in Boston against the Celtics. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported there’s “optimism” the Sixers will be able to play.