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TJ McBride: Source: all Nuggets players and staff members with the team returned negative COVID tests — both rapid and regular — this morning. So despite playing Dallas three days ago and Philadelphia last night, Denver’s roster is ready to go.
In these first three weeks of the season, the league is learning that the hard way. One team official asked before the season, half-jokingly, if it would wind up going on a road trip and leave players in one city after another as it went. So far, two teams -- the Chicago Bulls and Dallas Mavericks -- have had to leave players behind; and in another instance, staff from the LA Clippers had to drive back home from Salt Lake City. The Toronto Raptors, who are playing in Tampa, Florida, this season, reversed course on having fans in attendance at games this week due to spikes in the virus.
"I do think the reality is that we know this is rampant right now," Celtics coach Brad Stevens said. "And we're doing everything we can, as I've said before, to prevent it, and it's still going to find its way into the league, through travel parties; so we're all assuming some level of risk. "And I think we accept that and, at the same time, we trust that the people in charge have health and safety as the No. 1 priority; and if it becomes too much, that'll be somebody else's decision who's an expert at it."
The Nuggets will arrive at the Garden on Sunday having played their last two games against the 76ers — who played with eight active players Saturday because of health and safety protocols stemming from Seth Curry’s positive test — and the Mavericks, who have quarantined three players after one tested positive following Thursday’s game in Denver. “We just gotta do our part individually,” Knicks guard Austin Rivers said Saturday. “It’s tough, though. It is everywhere. Unfortunately in our country, people don’t wear masks all the time. You have ignorance displayed every day, which is causing this to be more delayed and more serious. … It’s frustrating to see people mess around with that stuff. We just control what we control and do our part. The Knicks have done a great job of keeping us in line with that stuff.”
Brad Townsend: Rick Carlisle says Dorian Finney-Smith, Josh Richardson and Jalen Brunson are still in Denver. Burke is available tonight.
Brad Townsend: Rick Carlisle: "We’re all dealing with a vast set of circumstances, so we’ve got to remain calm and we’ve always got to have a plan for adversity. We’ve been expecting that this kind of thing was certainly a realistic possibility and now we’re dealing with it.”
Brad Townsend: Carlisle: "We've got to remain calm. We've been expecting this sort of thing." It is what it is, what the NBA is going through right now.
Malika Andrews: Kevin Durant (health and safety protocols) is listed as probable for Sunday’s game against the Thunder, according to the latest injury report. Kyrie Irving (personal reasons) is listed as questionable.
Mark Murphy: Per source: Jayson Tatum tested positive for Covid today, and is now awaiting the results of a confirmation test. He is asymptomatic.
Scott Agness: A limited number of fans will soon be allowed at Pacers home games, where a lot is different. - Pre-arrival screening/x-ray machines - Mandatory masks - Seating pods - Only cards accepted.
Kevin Durant is expected to play against the Thunder after missing three games due to the league’s coronavirus health and safety protocol. Durant came in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 on Jan. 1 and the league requires players quarantine and register consecutive negative coronavirus tests for seven days from the day of the encounter.
Drew Hill: No positive test for JV, team sources say, which could mean it's a contact tracing issue. Wouldn't make sense for him to play if he tested positive, but the issues last night prove otherwise, I suppose.
Mirjam Swanson: Kerr on any COVID-related logistical issues the Warriors have faced: "Knock on wood, we have not had any issues since training camp, we are constantly reminding everyone on our team and our staff to continue to be smart."
Seth Curry, held out of Thursday’s game with an ankle injury, was removed from the Sixers’ bench and placed in isolation after being notified of the positive test during the first half, according to two people familiar with the circumstances who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the details publicly.
Weiss added: “The testing strategy we have implemented of two daily P.C.R. tests creates a process that aims to identify an infected individual before they become infectious to others. Combined with our data that analyzes contact time and distance during on-court play, our experts believe that the game can safely proceed in these circumstances.”
Michael Singer: League source: If a player was positive and played in a game, it doesn't necessarily mean both teams' next games would be impacted. I.e., If a player was positive in last night's Nuggets-Mavs game, that doesn't automatically mean Denver's next game (@ PHI) would be affected.
Malika Andrews: Steve Nash said the Nets weren’t aware during Thursday’s game against Philadelphia of Seth Curry’s positive test. They found out later. Curry sat on the bench for the first quarter of the game before the positive test result returned.
Tim Bontemps: Scott Brooks, like Brad Stevens, said the Wizards are just trying to follow all of the rules are being given to them as far as how to handle COVID-19. The Wizards played the Sixers and Seth Curry Wednesday. Curry, who scored 28 points in that game, tested positive yesterday.
Tim Bontemps: Brad Stevens says he fully trusts the NBA in terms of how it is handling COVID-19. "The reality is we know this is rampant right now. We are doing everything we can to prevent it, and it's still going to find its way into the league and the travel parties."
Shams Charania: The two Mavericks players who were exposed to COVID-19 have tested negative and are expected to remain so, sources said. Dallas flew home today and faces Orlando at home on Saturday.
Tom Orsborn: Drew Eubanks remains out in accordance with NBA health and safety protocols, according to #Spurs injury report. Pop indicated yesterday that Eubanks and two other members of the travel party had been given COVID-19 tests. It's unclear if they remained in L.A. for quarantine.
Fred Katz: As of now, there are no indications that the Wizards/Celtics game will be impacted tonight. It remains scheduled as is, 7:30pm ET start time. Three Celtics are out and in health and safety protocol. The Wizards played the 76ers on Wednesday. Philly had positive test last night.
Jared Weiss: Celtics say Tristan Thompson, Rob Williams and Grant Williams are out due to COVID protocols for a game tonight against a Wizards team that just faced Seth Curry, who tested positive yesterday. This game should be postponed.
Adam Himmelsbach: According to a league source, Robert Williams was the lone Celtics player to test positive for COVID-19 and has been asymptomatic. Tristan Thompson and Grant Williams are out for contact tracing.
The Philadelphia 76ers are quarantining in New York because of a positive COVID-19 test for guard Seth Curry. A person familiar with the situation says the Sixers stayed overnight after the team learned of Curry's positive result during Thursday's loss against the Nets. The person spoke to The Associated Press Friday on condition of anonymity because the team has not made Curry's condition public. The person said as of Friday morning Curry was the only positive test on the Sixers.
Starting Thursday, the NBA will require players, coaches and staff members to wear Kinexon SafeZone contact tracing sensors amid the COVID-19 pandemic, league sources confirmed to The Arizona Republic. ESPN first reported the news last week after obtaining memos from the league. “There’s certain things you have to do to stay in the league,” Williams said. “You got to work hard. Study. Game film. This is one more thing that we have to do to keep our livelihood, business and what we love to do in place.”
Jovan Buha: Alex Caruso says he never tested positive for COVID-19, but rather was in the league’s health & safety protocols because of contact tracing with someone he had seen after Christmas.
Dave McMenamin: Spurs asst Becky Hammon, who recently made history against the Lakers - becoming the first woman to serve as head coach during a regular season NBA game - is not with the team tonight. Gregg Popovich said pregame that one player and two staff members were in the safety protocol
Adrian Wojnarowski: Sixers guard Seth Curry returned a positive test for the coronavirus, which the team learned of near the start of a loss in Brooklyn tonight, sources tell ESPN. He went to an isolation room immediately, and thereafter left arena separate from team.
Ramona Shelburne: Curry was wearing a mask while he was on the bench, in accordance with NBA health and safety protocols. He wasn’t playing in the game due to left ankle soreness.
Keith Pompey: Back at their hotel, the #Sixers will test tomorrow morning , according to league sources.
Ramona Shelburne: The Sixers will stay over in New York and do their daily testing tomorrow. It’s unclear how long they’ll have to stay over.
Storyline: Coronavirus
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February 10, 2021 | 12:31 pm EST Update
While James currently has the inside track in his push for a fifth MVP trophy to go with what he hopes will be a fifth NBA championship this summer, garnering 54 of a possible 100 first-place votes, the race to this point in the season is as competitive as any in recent memory, with a pair of centers — Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid and Denver Nuggets star Nikola Jokic — right on his heels.
James was named on 99 of 100 ballots and finished with a total of 760 points, leading Embiid (23 first-place votes) by just 95 points. The last MVP race to have a final margin that small came in 2004-05 when Steve Nash edged Shaquille O’Neal by 34 points. Jokic was third, garnering 18 first-place votes and a total of 596 points.
Durant, after missing all of last season with a torn Achilles, finished fourth in the voting with 272 points, and appeared on 75 ballots, while Leonard (153 points, 64 ballots) finished fifth. Antetokounmpo, the two-time defending MVP, was a distant sixth, getting a handful of votes as he appears very unlikely to win a third straight time. Doncic, the preseason favorite, received only two third place votes, as his glossy statistical resume was easily overwhelmed by the Mavericks’ underwhelming record.
Storyline: MVP Race
February 10, 2021 | 11:14 am EST Update
The Hawks finished 28th in defensive rating last season, a punching bag personified by Trae Young’s exceptional offense and inescapable futility on the other end. Right now they’re 12th, a few tenths of a point from cracking the top 10. With Capela on the court, they allow fewer points per possession than the Lakers, owners of the NBA’s top defense. But Atlanta is a damp Kleenex trying to catch a bowling ball when Capela sits, yielding as many points per 100 possessions as the third-worst defense in the league. In other words, exactly where they were last season.
But if there’s any one person who the Hawks can look at if asked to describe why they’re now good at something they were awful at last season, it’s Capela. When I relay most of the stats seen above to him over the phone, he chuckles. “I didn’t know about all of that. The numbers. But when I’m on the floor I have a huge impact defensively, being able to block shots, being able to challenge shots at the rim, being active, and definitely by rebounding the ball,” he says. “I really feel that my teammates believe in me in the sense that they’re aggressive guarding their guys, sending them to the rim and forcing them to take shots over me.”