It seems like the main talking point of this NBA season right now are the COVID-19 health and safety protocols, with player after player testing positive and getting sidelined. Atlanta Hawks star Trae Young is just one of the latest to enter the NBA's protocols, and he won't play against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday night.
As ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski notes, this news puts Young's status for the Christmas Day game against the New York Knicks in doubt:
Young is out tonight vs. Cleveland — with Christmas Day game vs. the Knicks at MSG looming on Saturday. https://t.co/zVS5rS3Wc5
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) December 19, 2021
He would have to return two negative COVID-19 tests, 24 hours apart, for that to happen. https://t.co/YSQqOysz1Y
— Sarah K. Spencer (@sarah_k_spence) December 19, 2021
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Young himself reacted on his Twitter account upon the information coming out publicly. He reminded us of a classic DeMarcus Cousins video and told people to stay safe during this time.
Take a look:
Stay safe🙄🤦🏽♂️🤷🏽♂️😷 pic.twitter.com/0cBfsg0CaW
— Trae Young (@TheTraeYoung) December 19, 2021
The Hawks had been lucky with COVID-19 prior to this news, though they have dealt with some other key health issues. It will be interesting to see what lineup the Hawks can produce to face the red-hot Cavaliers on Sunday night … if this game actually goes forward. Cleveland is dealing with its own massive COVID outbreak, potentially putting this game in peril of being postponed.
Atlanta has stumbled along to start this season after the surprise run to the Eastern Conference Finals last season. The Hawks are 14-15 and in 11th place in the Eastern Conference, which is out of the play-in picture, albeit just barely. Not having Young for a few games would be tough, but so many teams around the NBA are dealing with these issues right now, so it's just part of the territory.