Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
Tatum found out about his positive test late Friday night, according to the league source, after scoring 32 points in 35 minutes in the 116-107 win over Washington.
Tatum and center Robert Williams, who has also tested positive for COVID-19, will not be present for the game against the Heat, and neither will big men Tristan Thompson and Grant Williams, who were placed in quarantine because of close contact with Robert Williams.
According to the league source, Robert Williams, Grant Williams, Carsen Edwards, and Thompson recently rode in a car together, with Edwards the lone player wearing a mask. Edwards was cleared to play Friday against Washington because he was not considered a close contact. Grant Williams and Thompson, however, were considered risks.
It’s uncertain how Tatum contracted the virus, but according to the league’s research by medical experts, it’s nearly impossible to pass the virus during an NBA game because according to the Center for Disease Control’s website, transmission risk is with an “individual who has had close contact [within 6 feet for a total of 15 minutes or more].”
According to NBA research, players are not in close contact with each other for remotely close to 15 minutes during a game.
First off, let’s just hope (and pray) Tatum and Timelord make it through their Covid-19 cases unscathed.
The Celtics’ recent four-game winning streak has propelled them to the top of the NBA (7-3, tied with Philly, LAL, and PHX). And while we’re only 1/10th of the way into the season, it’s okay to feel good about our spot given the rocky start and absence of Kemba Walker.
I’m not here to criticize guys for going maskless during a car ride, but here’s proof these little slip-ups can have major ramifications.
With Thompson, Williams (x2), and Tatum out, and Brown, Green, and Ojeleye questionable, the Celtics roster for tonight’s game could be:
Guards: Smart, Teague, Pritchard, Edwards, Waters
Forwards: Theis, Nesmith
But it’s not only Boston. Philly played with only 7 healthy players last night. Dallas had three players test positive. Brooklyn lost Kevin Durant to Covid. The list is lengthy.
The league has to be concerned with the growing number of cases:
“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 rest of the links
Globe: Sunday Basketball notes (Raptors struggles, biggest surprises and disappointments)