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December 19, 2021

Sunday's game vs. Pelicans postponed after Sixers place two more on COVID list

Shake Milton and Andre Drummond were placed in health and safety protocols earlier in the day.

Sixers NBA
2_Wells_Fargo_Center_sixers_76ersvsCeltics_KateFrese.jpg Kate Frese/for PhillyVoice

The inside of the Wells Fargo Center prior to a Sixers game.

The Sixers' home game against the New Orleans Pelicans has been postponed, the NBA announced on Sunday afternoon, as the Sixers were forced to scramble to reach the minimum player threshold due to a spike in COVID cases. Philadelphia's postponement was one of five games the league pushed back.

On Sunday, backups Shake Milton and Andre Drummond were added to the NBA's health and safety protocol, joining forward Georges Niang, who was in the health and safety protocol for the back half of last week.

Injuries up and down the lineup further complicated matters for Philadelphia. Furkan Korkmaz (non-COVID illness), Ben Simmons (personal reasons), and Jaden Springer (concussion protocol) were all definitively listed as out ahead of the game, with Joel Embiid (ankle), Danny Green (hip soreness), and Tyrese Maxey (quad contusion) also questionable for the game.

If the Sixers had access to their full assortment of G-League/two-way players on Sunday, they might have been able to go on with the game anyway. But with the G-League Showcase ongoing, Paul Reed and Aaron Henry were both in Vegas for the event and would have had to be rushed back on Sunday to get back in time for the game. Further complicating matters, the Sixers planned to waive guard Grant Riller on Sunday in order to sign two-way player Myles Powell from the Westchester Knicks, as PhillyVoice first reported on Saturday

The only sliver of good news: a team official said tickets for the game against New Orleans would be honored whenever the game is rescheduled. 

For now, this is the only Sixers game in jeopardy, though the league has already started pushing back games as far back as Tuesday to cope with COVID-related absences around the league. Presumably, the Sixers will be able to make more guys available on Monday night, when they are scheduled to hit the road and play the Celtics in Boston, though it's premature to speculate what might happen between now and 7:30 pm on Monday night.

In other words, stay tuned, and get well soon everybody. 

MORE: Sources: Sixers waiving Grant Riller, signing Myles Powell to two-way contract | The Sixers' current state shows why Ben Simmons trade hasn't been made yet

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