A greatly reduced Raptors team will host the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday in Toronto’s temporary home of Tampa, Fla.
The team announced Tuesday that starters Fred VanVleet, Pascal Siakam and OG Anunoby are out as part of the NBA’s health and safety protocols, as are Patrick McCaw and Malachi Flynn.
Jalen Harris and recently signed big man Donta Hall join the team from its G League affiliate, Raptors 905.
The game was originally slated for Tuesday at Amalie Arena but was postponed due to what the league said was “positive test results and ongoing contact tracing within the Raptors organization.” Sunday’s game against the Chicago Bulls was also postponed.
Toronto had managed to largely avoid the global pandemic until now, despite playing their home games out of Florida — a COVID-19 hotbed — due to Canada’s border restrictions and health and safety protocols in Ontario.
The Raptors were one of four remaining teams in the league that hadn’t had a game postponed until Tuesday.
Nick Nurse, five members of his staff and Siakam were all sidelined for Friday’s game against Houston. Assistant Sergio Scariolo stepped in to guide the Raptors to a 122-111 win and will take on the same role Wednesday with Nurse forced to sit out again.
The Raptors at least have some time off coming up. Their last scheduled game before the NBA all-star break is Thursday at Boston.
Toronto tips off the second half of the season March 11 against the visiting Atlanta Hawks.