The Celtics’ home games against the 76ers and Cavaliers this week could be in jeopardy after both teams had their Sunday games postponed due to roster shortages created by COVID-19 health and safety protocols.
Neither team was able to field the league minimum of eight players.
Philadelphia, which is scheduled to visit TD Garden on Monday night, had its home game against the Pelicans called off on Sunday after Andre Drummond and Shake Milton were placed in COVID-19 protocol, joining Georges Niang. Furkan Korkmaz has a non-COVID illness, Joel Embiid, Tyrese Maxey, and Danny Green are all dealing with minor injuries, and Ben Simmons has yet to play a game this season.
ESPN reported that the 76ers are optimistic that they will have enough players to face the Celtics on Monday, however. Paul Reed and two-way contract player Aaron Henry could be recalled from the G League Showcase in Las Vegas, and Philadelphia is reportedly signing Myles Powell to a two-way contract after waiving Grant Riller.
The Cavaliers, meanwhile, are scheduled to visit Boston on Wednesday, and their Sunday game against the Hawks was pushed back after five more players entered COVID-19 protocols, joining Evan Mobley and Isaac Okoro. Guard Collin Sexton is already out for the year after undergoing knee surgery.
The Celtics have dealt with their own COVID-19 issues this week. Boston had just 10 players available for its win over the Knicks on Saturday, including forward Justin Jackson, who was signed Saturday morning via the hardship exception.
The team is hopeful that Romeo Langford (neck pain) and Dennis Schröder (non-COVID illness) will return to the active roster on Monday. Also, coach Ime Udoka said the team may look to add one more player using the hardship exception.
If either of the Celtics’ matchups at TD Garden this week are pushed back there could actually be some wiggle room for a prompt makeup game, because the Bruins’ home games on Tuesday and Thursday have already been postponed because of a COVID-19 outbreak. The 76ers have an open date on Tuesday and the Cavaliers do not have a game scheduled for Thursday.