Al Horford could miss first 2 games of conference finals
The Boston Celtics are dealing with unfortunate roster availability issues ahead of Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
Both Al Horford and Marcus Smart are unavailable to play in Game 1 on Tuesday. Smart is out due to a foot sprain, which was a known issue. But the surprising health issue was revealed on Tuesday when the Celtics said Horford was in health and safety protocols.
Al Horford (Health & Safety Protocols) – OUT
Marcus Smart (right mid-foot sprain) – OUT
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) May 17, 2022
That information suggests Horford has COVID.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski says the Celtics are preparing for Horford to also miss Thursday’s Game 2 in Miami.
Boston is prepared for the likely scenario of Al Horford remaining in the league’s Health and Safety Protocols through Game 2 on Thursday, sources said. https://t.co/QsWWjKDRcq
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) May 17, 2022
At this point, the Celtics have to hope that Horford will be able to clear protocols in time for Game 3 on Saturday.
Horford has stepped up his game during the postseason. He averaged 13.0 points and 10.4 rebounds per game against the Bucks and became a big success story. Smart had his struggles against Milwaukee, but he is the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year and a key player for the Celtics.
This is a terrible break for Boston ahead of their series against the No. 1-seeded team in the East.