The Brooklyn Nets were without seven players, including James Harden, on Tuesday night because of the NBA's health and safety protocols.
The Nets only had enough remaining players to take the court against the Toronto Raptors because Kevin Durant was upgraded from questionable.
Aside from Harden, the Nets were missing starter LaMarcus Aldridge and DeAndre' Bembry along with reserves Jevon Carter, James Johnson, Bruce Brown and Paul Millsap.
“It’s unfortunate for sure,” Brooklyn coach Steve Nash said before the game. About a half-hour after he had finished — and an hour before the opening tip — the team announced Harden and Brown had been placed into COVID-19 protocols.
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“First we concern ourselves with their health and safety. Fortunately for us, they’re predominantly asymptomatic but there will be a period of time required for them to test negative (before we can) have our full group available again.”
Nash also said “a couple coaches (and) a couple staff (members)” had been placed in protocols.
“We’re not naive enough to not have concerns about more people contracting the virus, but that’s out of our hands,” Nash said. “Overall, we can’t do a lot right now except wait for results to come in and control what’s in our hands.”
The Nets have been playing short-handed all season after Kyrie Irving refused to get vaccinated, which ruled him out for home games because of a New York City vaccine mandate.
Fans speculated Tuesday whether Irving was returning to the games after he posted a video of himself lacing up his sneakers, according to Bleacher Report. There has been no confirmation from the team who previously decided not to let him play solely in road games.
The NBA postponed two Chicago Bulls games this week because 10 of their players were in health and safety protocols.