The NBA has announced that the time of the Los Angeles Lakers’ game on Sunday with the Chicago Bulls has been moved back from 12:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. PT. This move is likely to give Chicago more time in order to have enough players eligible to suit up as they have lost 10 players to the NBA’s health and safety protocols.
The NBA has already postponed the Bulls’ two games prior to Sunday’s meeting with the Lakers after forward Alize Johnson entered the protocols, leaving Chicago with just eight healthy players. The Bulls were set to play the Detroit Pistons on Tuesday and the Toronto Raptors on Thursday but hope to have enough players available to take on the Lakers this weekend.
Among the Bulls players in the protocols are All-Stars Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan, as well as Derrick Jones Jr., Coby White, Ayo Dosunmu, Javonte Green, Troy Brown Jr., Matt Thomas and Stanley Johnson.
This is the second and final scheduled meeting between the Lakers and Bulls with Chicago blowing the Lakers out in Alex Caruso’s return to Staples Center. The Bulls were led by 38 points from DeRozan, 27 points from former Laker Lonzo Ball and 26 from LaVine. The Lakers were without LeBron James on that night but did get a career-high 28 points from Talen Horton-Tucker.
The number of players being forced to enter the NBA’s health and safety protocols has been rising over the last few weeks with many teams being affected. The Brooklyn Nets now have five players in the protocols including veterans LaMarcus Aldridge and Paul Millsap and the Lakers could have their own problems as well.
The Lakers are set to begin their three-game road trip in Dallas on Wednesday but cancelled their scheduled practice on Tuesday because Horton-Tucker tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19).
This will be the second Lakers player to enter the protocol in the last couple of weeks, though the first was a quick stint as it was ultimately determined that LeBron James was the recipient of a false positive test and he missed just one game.
James named Western Conference Player of the Week
Having LeBron in uniform for Sundays’ game in Chicago will certainly make a big difference as he has been on a tear since returning to the court. So much so, that he was recently named Western Conference Player of the Week.
James averaged 28.0 points, 8.0 assists, 7.5 rebounds, 1.8 steals, and 1.8 blocks while shooting 60.8% from the field and leading the Lakers to a 3-1 record.
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