NBA action continues Sunday with nine games on the schedule, headlined by the Los Angeles Lakers meeting the Chicago Bulls and the Denver Nuggets facing the Brooklyn Nets. COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc in the NBA, but there are some teams who are starting to get past the protocols.
UPDATE — The Cavs-Hawks, Sixers-Pelicans and Nuggets-Nets games have been postponed.
NBA Injury Report, December 19th
Kristaps Porzingis (foot), OUT
Porzingis has left Sunday’s contest due to a foot injury and will not return.
Joel Embiid (ankle), questionable; Furkman Kormaz (illness), OUT; Tyrese Maxey (ankle), questionable
Embiid has been dealing with the ankle issue for a while but should be good to go. Maxey is also likely to play, but both players will be worth monitoring leading up to the opening tip.
Jimmy Butler (tailbone), OUT; Tyler Herro (quad), OUT
Update - Herro has been ruled out for Sunday’s game against the Pistons.
Butler has been sidelined for some time now, and doesn’t seem close to returning. Herro is one of the team’s rising stars, but he’s missed a few games with the quad injury as well.
Trae Young (protocols), OUT; Bogdan Bogdanovic (ankle), questionable
Update — Young has been ruled out after being placed in COVID protocols on Sunday.
Young is likely to play through the injury, while Bogdanovic has been out for a while and is likely to remain out.
Evan Mobley (protocols), OUT
Update — Mobley has been ruled out along with Isaac Okoro and five additional players who have been placed in COVID protocols, per Woj. We don’t know the other players who are on the list with Mobley and Okoro as of now.
Mobley entered the league’s protocols Saturday, so he’s unlikely to get cleared in time for this game.
Coby White, DeMar DeRozan, Javonte Green (protocols), AVAILABLE
The Bulls are finally seeing some light at the end of the protocol tunnel, as three key players are ready to go for the team’s game Sunday against the Lakers.
Anthony Davis (MCL), OUT; LeBron James (abdominal), AVAILABLE; Malik Monk (protocols), TBD; Dwight Howard (protocols), TBD; Talen Horton-Tucker (protocols), TBD
Update - James will play in Sunday’s game against the Bulls.
The Lakers lost a big piece of their puzzle with Davis, but James should still be in the fold. Even though he’s listed with an abdominal injury, James is clearly past the issue at this point.
Devin Booker (hamstring), AVAILABLE
Update - Booker will finally return to the court after a long absence. This is big news for the Suns, who will likely see some movement towards them on the line in this game.
Booker has been managing this injury for a while, and the Suns want to be rightfully cautious with the young star. His status will be worth monitoring as the game nears.
Kevin Durant, James Harden, Kyrie Irving (protocols), TBD
The Nets have seen their star trio enter the league’s protocols, with Irving being a quick addition after the team decided he could be a part-time player. This is a bad spot for Brooklyn, who will go with a G-League level roster until the stars return. The only good news is the Nets are at the top of the East and have some breathing room.