The Sixers announced on Wednesday afternoon that Georges Niang would be placed within the NBA’s health and safety protocols, thus making him unavailable to play in Wednesday night’s game against the Miami Heat.
The past few weeks have featured numerous teams having COVID-19 outbreaks across the NBA landscape. Teams such as the Brooklyn Nets and Chicago Bulls have had the majority of their rosters placed within the NBA’s health and safety protocols. The Sixers had their fair share of issues early on with COVID. Tobias Harris, Matisse Thybulle, Isaiah Joe, and Joel Embiid all were in protocols for weeks at a time. It unfortunately seems that COVID has struck the Sixers again with Niang.
This news comes at a rough time, as the Sixers recently just got the majority of their roster back from injury/COVID related issues. The Sixers may very well be without Niang for the next week or so and will have to get creative with their rotation.
The Sixers’ power forward spot has been thin this year. Ben Simmons is out for reasons that we’ve touched on way too many times and Paul Reed has been torching the G-League as a double-double machine. Harris, who has struggled early on, will likely have to play additional minutes going forward. The Sixers may also play smaller, putting someone like Thybulle or Furkan Korkmaz at the four spot.
The NBA has seen a massive outbreak across the league, with the league even postponing two games earlier in the week. Having these players play right before the holidays seems very dangerous and unjustified. Taking a temporary break or postponement might be best for all.