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#pounditSaturday, July 2, 2022

Celtics get mixed injury news ahead of Game 2 against Heat

Al Horford during warmups

Jan 28, 2022; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Boston Celtics center Al Horford (42) prepares for a game against the Atlanta Hawks at State Farm Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Celtics were missing two starters in their Game 1 Eastern Conference Finals loss to the Miami Heat on Tuesday, and they will likely be getting only one of them back in Game 2.

Marcus Smart missed Game 1 with a foot injury. Al Horford was ruled out after being placed in COVID protocol. Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reports that Horford is not expected to be cleared in time for Game 2 on Thursday night. Smart is hoping to return, but he needs to see how his foot responds to treatment.

Celtics head coach Ime Udoka said the team found out Horford tested positive for COVID-19 just hours before Game 1. Robert Williams, who has battled knee troubles throughout the postseason, scored 18 points and grabbed 9 rebounds in 28 minutes. He helped fill the Horford void, but Smart’s absence caused bigger issues.

The Heat clearly took advantage of Smart being out, and it paid off down the stretch en route to their 118-107 victory.

Had the Celtics won Game 1, they probably would play it safe with Smart. We would be surprised if he does not suit up given the circumstances.

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