The Raptors will be forced to fight the Rockets without most of their coaching staff.
Toronto has announced that head coach Nick Nurse and five assistant coaches will not be on the bench for Friday’s game against Houston due to NBA health and safety protocols. This will mark the first instance in which health and safety protocols kept a head coach and several staff off the sidelines.
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As of Friday afternoon, the Raptors had not revealed any further details regarding who would serve as head coach with the absent nurse. It is also unclear whether the coaches have tested positive for COVID-19 or whether they have been reported to be in close contact with an infected person. They are expected to continue working remotely.
General manager Bobby Webster was scheduled to speak with the media on Friday night and provide an update ahead of the Raptors-Rockets game, which will be held at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Fla., Toronto’s temporary home in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.
After losing eight of their first 10 games this season, the Raptors have rebounded and climbed to fifth in the Eastern Conference standings. They last faced the 76ers on Wednesday, and they have four games left before the 2021 All-Star break.