In his pregame teleconference with media, Thunder head coach Billy Donovan announced that Dennis Schröder has left the bubble in order to be with his family.
The temporary leave from the bubble has been anticipated for a couple of weeks now since Schröder announced that his wife is due to deliver their second child very soon. Schröder is a favorite to win the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year, and his absence is one that will hurt the Thunder for sure.
In 64 games so far this season, 63 of them coming off the bench, Schröder has averaged 18.9 points, 4.0 assists, and 3.7 rebounds in a little under 31 minutes per game. He has also been a part of the three point guard lineup that has become known around the league as the most effective trio of players across the board.
It is unknown at this time how many games he will miss, but as long as he maintains a negative COVID-19 test every day, his quarantine time will be shortened when he eventually returns. Because he is leaving a little earlier than anticipated, perhaps Schröder will be able to return without missing any playoff games.
In his absence, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander will undoubtedly be left to run the offense at times when Chris Paul takes a seat. This will reduce the amount of time that the two can be on the court together but will ultimately be the best solution in order to maintain an efficient floor general on the court at all times.
Terrance Ferguson will also be missing today’s game against the Denver Nuggets with a leg contusion. Ferguson’s play time has been drastically reduced since the bubble restart, and while the seriousness of this injury is unclear at this time, it is likely the reason for his inability to get on and stay on the court.
The Thunder and the Nuggets tip off at 3 PM CT, and you can read the game preview here.