The start of the Chicago Bulls’ second-half schedule just got a little less brutal (which could actually be HUGELY important to their plans ahead of the trade deadline).
According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, both Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons will officially miss Thursday’s game in Chicago.
76ers’ Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons are required to quarantine until Friday and Saturday, respectively, due to contact tracing, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. It rules Embiid out of Thursday game, and Simmons out of Thursday and Friday.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) March 9, 2021
Embiid and Simmons were ruled out of the All-Star Game this past Sunday after each coming in contact with a barber in Philadelphia who tested positive for COVID-19. Both players have been in quarantine following the NBA’s Health and Safety protocols, and while it appears they have continued to test negative, the NBA’s rulebook states players must sit out for a minimum of seven-days as part of the contract tracing procedures.
The first-place team in the East will now be without their top two players as the Chicago Bulls try to get revenge after a pretty heartbreaking 112-105 loss on national television back on February 19th. Of course, it always feels best to beat a team when they are at full strength, but I’m sure Billy Donovan’s squad will take what they can get as they embark on the 11th-toughest second-half schedule in the NBA.
After the Bulls face the 76ers on Thursday, they will play four of their next five games against current playoff teams: Heat, Raptors, Thunder, Spurs, and Nuggets.