“This is the reality of this association right now,” Miami coach Erik Spoelstra said.
Toronto played in Cleveland on Sunday with eight players: four on regular contracts, four signed to hardship deals. The Raptors have 10 players unable to play for virus-related reasons and hadn’t played for more than a week.
But the schedule said they were playing Sunday, so they showed up to play on Sunday.
“We haven’t done a thing since our last game,” Raptors coach Nick Nurse said about 90 minutes before tip-off.
In Chicago, where the Bulls just had 10 players go through protocols and are now without coach Billy Donovan as he navigates them, it had been pointed out that Lonzo Ball was the lone player to appear in every game for the team so far this season.
That streak is about to end: Ball is one of three players on the latest list of Bulls in the protocols.
“Y’all jinxed me,” Ball tweeted.
Memphis saw its protocols list grow to five on Sunday. San Antonio — one of the few teams that hadn’t had a player in protocols right now — had its run of luck on that front end when Dejounte Murray was added to the list, and Atlanta added John Collins to its already-jammed list.