Toronto Raptors’ Pascal Siakam, coach Nick Nurse, 5 assistants sidelined because of protocols

Raptors star ahead Pascal Siakam, head coach Nick Nurse and 5 assistant coaches had been unavailable for Toronto’s recreation 122-111 win over the Houston Rockets on Friday evening in Tampa, Florida, as a result of NBA’s well being and security protocols, the staff introduced.

Veteran assistant Sergio Scariolo, who has coached at a number of high-level European golf equipment — together with Actual Madrid — and has been the Spanish nationwide staff’s coach for greater than a decade, coached the staff in Nurse’s absence.

“Clearly we’ve had him right here for a number of years and the expertise he brings, not solely what he is performed within the NBA however as a world head coach, whether or not it was in Europe or as a nationwide staff head coach,” basic supervisor Bob Webster mentioned of Scariolo’s expertise earlier than Friday’s recreation. “Designating Sergio was not a troublesome resolution for us.”

The Raptors, who’ve rebounded from a 2-Eight begin to get again into the playoff image within the East, now need to cope with most of their teaching workers and one in every of their finest gamers being sidelined for an undetermined period of time.

Earlier than the sport, Webster wasn’t divulging a lot, saying there could be 4 assistants on the bench with Scariolo with out specifying who.

In some methods, the Raptors had been lucky Scariolo was capable of coach the staff in any respect. Not like the remainder of the coaches, who had been along with the Raptors in latest days, Scariolo had been with the Spanish nationwide staff teaching in Eurobasket qualifiers, and returned to Tampa in latest days to quarantine earlier than being allowed again across the staff.

Scariolo’s quarantine ended Friday — simply in time for him to step into teaching his first NBA recreation.

“I simply joked with him that the final staff he coached he was the top coach,” Webster mentioned with a smile. “I mentioned, ‘You have to be prepared for this.’ However you guys know his résumé. I do not know what number of a whole lot or 1000’s of video games he is been a head coach, nevertheless it’s distinctive and he acknowledged that a lot so far as the NBA recreation and, clearly, underneath the circumstances.

“So we look ahead to it, and I believe it will be a brand new problem for him, however I believe everyone’s prepared for it.”

Toronto was already down an assistant coach after Chris Finch was employed the Minnesota Timberwolves to switch Ryan Saunders as their head coach Monday. The Raptors final performed Wednesday, after they misplaced in Miami to the Warmth. They misplaced to the Philadelphia 76ers at dwelling on Tuesday.

Webster mentioned that the off day Thursday, after taking part in a back-to-back, wound up being lucky.

“Yesterday being an off day was really helpful as a result of there was nothing scheduled,” Webster mentioned. “So as soon as this turned a difficulty, there wasn’t a ton of conversations about yesterday. It was extra concerning the days prior. That is if you return and take into consideration actions and the place individuals had been.”

As for Siakam, Webster mentioned the staff was nonetheless in fact-finding mode about how lengthy he’d be out. Chris Boucher began in Siakam’s place towards Houston.

“We do not know but,” Webster mentioned when requested if Siakam’s absence was associated to the coaches being out. “So I believe, clearly, the NBA is being extraordinarily cautious right here. It is early in what is going on on right here, so I believe we’re all being conscientious and never taking any dangers, so I believe that is extra of what is going on on. However, you understand, TBD, we’ll see what tomorrow brings us as we’re all diligently getting examined and awaiting the outcomes on daily basis.”

Toronto, which is one in every of 4 groups — together with the LA Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets — to not have a recreation postponed but, will hold that streak going Friday evening regardless of having most of its coaches sidelined. However Webster mentioned that, finally, the quantity of testing that groups are doing was the figuring out issue within the NBA’s resolution to permit the sport to proceed.

“That is clearly not our name, however we spoke to the NBA,” Webster mentioned of doubtless suspending Friday’s recreation. “A technique to consider it’s, we get examined twice within the morning, and so if these exams come again unfavourable, that type of offers you the clearance to take part in actions that day, after which you may even do some testing later within the day in the event you’re involved about it. I believe as soon as the unfavourable exams got here again this afternoon, I believe that gave the NBA the consolation that at the very least for right now, we’re clear.”

Toronto is spending this season in Tampa due to border restrictions and quarantine necessities for these coming into Canada. The Raptors additionally needed to spend further time in Florida forward of the NBA’s bubble on the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida, final summer season for a similar purpose.

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