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Fans speculated about why NBA analyst Jeff Van Gundy sounded ill during Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals and now we may know why. Van Gundy will miss Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday, allegedly due to COVID-19, according to Andrew Marchand of the New York Post.
Van Gundy won't be the only analyst missing the contest. Insider Adrian Wojnarowski will also reportedly miss Game 1 due to COVID-19, according to the Post. ESPN confirmed Van Gundy and Wojnarowski would miss the contest, but did not say whether either tested positive for COVID-19. Marchand did not definitively state in his article whether Van Gundy or Wojnarowski tested positive.
Mike Breen was also ruled out for the game. Breen missed Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals due to COVID-19. He was replaced by Mark Jones. Breen remained on the COVID-19 list early Thursday. It was reportedly possible for Breen to test out of the protocols, but it sounds like that didn't happen.
Mark Jackson will replace Van Gundy for Thursday's game. With Wojnarowski out, ABC is expected to go with a two-person booth for Game 1. It's unclear if that will change if Breen, Van Gundy and Wojnarowski need to miss additional games.
The Boston Celtics will take on the Golden State Warriors in the 2021-22 NBA Finals. Game 1 is scheduled for Thursday at 9 p.m. ET. It will be broadcast on ABC.