Matisse Thibault is not eligible to play in Toronto
Philadelphia 76ers included goalkeeper Matisse Thibault as “unqualified to play” in Thursday’s game in Toronto against the Raptors, a sign that Thybulle may also not play in all three road games for a potential watershed series between the two franchises.
Last week, ESPN asked the four teams that lead the conference (Philadelphia, Miami Heat, Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics) if their rosters have been fully vaccinated and are therefore eligible to play in Toronto, where players must be vaccinated. .
Miami and Milwaukee confirmed to ESPN that their teams had been fully vaccinated, while Boston and Philadelphia declined to comment.
Starting next Wednesday, the 76ers and the Raptors will meet in the first round of the East Qualifiers as the fourth and fifth seed.
Thybulle, who turned 25 last month, has developed into one of the best winger players in the NBA, averaging 1.1 steals and 1.8 blocks in 25.4 minutes per game. Only seven players in the league average at least one steal and one block per game and they all play more minutes than Thybulle.
Thibault’s absence will be especially felt in Philadelphia’s roster, which lacks plenty of defensive talent without him and the Player of the Year nominee. Joel EmbiidHe is also a potential candidate for the All Defensive Team.
If Toronto beats Philadelphia on Thursday, it will go a long way toward securing a first-round game for both teams. However, if the Sixers win that game and the last game, against the Indiana Pacers on Saturday and the Detroit Pistons on Sunday, it would ensure them to finish third, thanks to the Celtics and Bucks, currently tied with Philadelphia (49-30), playing Thursday night in Milwaukee.
Qualifiers are scheduled to begin on April 16 and 17, with first-round matches 3 and 4, set to take place in Toronto, likely for two weeks, starting Wednesday.
To be considered fully immune in Canada, a person must have had two weeks after one injection of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, or two weeks after a second injection of the two-dose vaccine. This means that unvaccinated players will need to receive one dose of the vaccine to be fully vaccinated in time to play each match of the first round series.
The most notable example of a player who missed matches due to not being vaccinated is the Brooklyn Nets star, Keri Irvingwho was unable to play in New York, either at Barclays Center or Madison Square Garden, before the city recently changed vaccination rules to allow non-vaccinated players and other athletes to play in home games.