According to a report from Marcus Thompson and Anthony Slater of The Athletic, starting center Kevon Looney is not available for tonight’s game as he has entered the health and safety protocol.
Despite the fact that this happened in the middle of a baseball series, the second game of the doubleheader is expected to go ahead as planned.
Expectation is the Warriors and Grizzlies will still play tonight in Memphis. But Warriors will do so without an available center. https://t.co/RxMguTuGDh— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) March 20, 2021
The Warriors are also without James Wiseman and Eric Paschall, who remain in the health and safety protocol, and have to quarantine for a week. Assuming they pass their coronavirus tests, they’ll be eligible to return for Thursday’s game. It’s unclear if Looney will also have to be out for seven days as well. For now, the Warriors are under the expectation that it should be a short stint on the sidelines for Looney.
The expectation within the Warriors is that it’ll be a short stay in the health and safety protocols for Kevon Looney. One day, one missed game is likely. Circumstances can always change, but that’s how it’s trending.— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) March 20, 2021
In addition to the three players in the health and safety protocol, superstar Steph Curry missed Friday’s game due to a tailbone contusion, and is expected to miss Saturday’s game as well.
So the Warriors will play without the the three centers who have been in their rotation this year — Looney, Wiseman, and Marquese Chriss. And they’ll also be without one of their two small-ball fives in Paschall. That likely means that we see a lot of Juan Toscano-Anderson, but might we see a little bit of Alen Smailagić as well?
Either way, a difficult game just got a little bit more difficult, for a team that just got a little bit more shorthanded.
Note: A previous version of this story incorrectly noted that Looney was on the health and safety protocol due to contact tracing. We don’t actually know what placed him on the protocol. As NBC Sports Bay Area’s Kerith Burke notes, there are many things that can land a player on the absent list.
A player may enter the H&S protocol for a few reasons:— Kerith Burke (@KerithBurke) March 20, 2021
- inconclusive covid test
- positive covid test
- contact tracing, in contact with someone who tested positive.
Times in the protocol vary. Paschall missed one game in January after a false positive test. Had to wait 24 hrs. https://t.co/AvPKge6w4s