The Sacramento Kings announced this afternoon that Chimezie Metu was the latest player to enter in the league’s health and safety rrotocols. The news comes just hours ahead of Sacramento’s road contest vs. the Los Angeles Lakers.
Metu joins center Richaun Holmes on the health and safety list, the latter of whom entered into protocol on January 1 following Sacramento’s loss to the Dallas Mavericks on New Year’s Eve.
During the mid-December depletion of the Kings’ roster, Metu was one of the only players who did not enter the league’s protocols despite up to seven players and three personnel missing time. It’s a huge letdown for Sacramento, as Metu has been playing well in the starting lineup - most notably contributing last Wednesday’s big shot buzzer beater in a victory over Dallas.
Without the presence of Sactown’s go-to bigs, the starting lineup will most likely feature an Alex Len or Tristan Thompson. The Kings traveled to Los Angeles without their two-way players, who have been assigned back to the G League in Stockton. Despite Metu not necessarily being a strong pillar on this roster, his absence will be felt on both ends of the floor tonight.
In all likelihood to the relief of Sacramento, the Lakers have opted to play a small ball lineup in the last few contests as they are another team who have been ravaged by Covid as well as injury this season. Should Los Angeles continue this style tonight, the three-guard lineup might prove to be the better option for Sacramento to carve another victory in the win column.