By Dylan MacKinnon
As we learned yesterday, Matisse Thybulle is ineligible to play tonight vs the Raptors, reportedly because he does not meet Canada’s Vaccine requirements. Canada requires any out-of-country travelers to have at least two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine, or one dose of the Johnson and Johnson version of the vaccine. Thybulle does not meet either of those requirements. The last time the Sixers played in Toronto, this rule was not in place. That is why Thybulle was able to play in Toronto back in December.
This would of course also mean that if the Sixers face the Raptors in the playoffs, Thybulle would be unavailable for any games in Toronto. If the season ended today the Sixers would face the Raptors in the first round of the playoffs. Doc Rivers was not forthcoming on what the plan is if the Sixers end up matched up with Toronto.
Doc Rivers on Matisse Thybulle being ineligible to play in Toronto tonight: “It’s one game tonight. We’ll go from there.”— Gina Mizell (@ginamizell) April 7, 2022
On the possibility that this could be an issue in a playoff series: “We don’t know who we’re playing yet, so we’ll just handle that when it comes.”
Canada’s rules require 14 days to have passed from your second dose, or first dose of Johnson and Johnson. So if Thybulle did get the Johnson and Johnson Vaccine now, he would be available for any games after April 21st. That would be right around when game 3 of any series vs the Raptors would be. Otherwise, they will be without Thybulle for 3 of the 7 games in that matchup.
This is the 4th and final team the Sixers play the Raptors this season. The Sixers are 1-2 so far. The last time they played was March 20th, when they lost 93-88. They only shot 41% in that game, and they allowed 20 offensive rebounds.
The Sixers currently sit at 49-20. They are in a tie with the Milwaukee Bucks, and a .5 game behind the Celtics. Since the Bucks and Celtics play each other tonight, if the Sixers take care of their own business they will end the night in the 3 seed. The Sixers and Bucks have 3 games left, while the Celtics have two. The Sixers remaining opponents after tonight are the Pistons and the Pacers. Meanwhile the Celtics still have to play the Grizzlies, and the Bucks play the Pistons and Cavaliers.
The game tips tonight at around 7:30 pm. Our coverage begins at 7:20 with Devon Givens and the Pre-Game show. Tom McGinnis is on the call.