The Portland Trail Blazers announced Carmelo Anthony is not with the team and won’t play Monday night against the Los Angeles Lakers due to the NBA’s health and safety protocols.
Anthony played 20 minutes in the Trail Blazers’ overtime win against the Houston Rockets on Saturday. He only scored 5 points on 2-for-9 shooting
Prior to the start of the 2020-21 season the league issued a health and safety protocols guide to all 30 teams, detailing how it will approach handling challenges brought about by the coronavirus (COVID-19).
Portland did not specify why Anthony is not making the trip to Los Angeles, but the protocols do note that players who test positive for the coronavirus will need to quarantine and not be allowed to exercise for 10 days.
The NBA also states that any player who tests positive will either need to go 10 days or more after their first positive test or when they began to experience symptoms or test negative twice via PCR testing in order to be eligible to practice and play.
Lakers teammates Montrezl Harrell and Wesley Matthews emphasized that following protocols will be crucial to being successful this season, so Anthony’s absence should serve as a reminder to the players to be as responsible as possible.
It is a loss for the Blazers who could use Anthony’s size and shooting in the frontcourt against a Lakers team that appears to be getting more and more comfortable playing with each other. He is also a credible defender when motivated and would have been a decent option to throw at LeBron James if needed.
However, Los Angeles may also be shorthanded as Anthony Davis is dealing with a calf contusion while James tweaked his left ankle in the team’s blowout win against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Regarding Davis’ availability against Portland, head coach Frank Vogel said there is a possibility he could play.
“We hope he will be available [Monday], but we have to see how he feels,” Vogel said. “It’s kind of a day to day thing and how he responds to treatment. But we’re hopeful that he’ll play.”
Vogel non-committal on staggering LeBron, Davis in back-to-backs
Because of the depth of the roster, Vogel has the luxury of perhaps sitting his stars in back-to-back games. However, Vogel still seems as though he would prefer to play James and Davis if they are available.
“We’re going to approach each one throughout the whole year on a case-by-case basis, with the expectation that our guys will play both games unless there’s a reason otherwise,” Vogel explained.
“In this case (Sunday), there’s a reason otherwise with Anthony’s calf. We’ll just continue to evaluate that throughout the year.”
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