Celtics injury updates: Al Horford and Marcus Smart cleared to play, Derrick White out for Game 2

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The Boston Celtics lost Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals to the Miami Heat largely because they were without two key starters: Marcus Smart and Al Horford. They will get those two guys back for Game 2 on Thursday night as Horford and Smart are available to play, Ime Udoka announced ahead of the first board.

Horford had been within league health and safety protocols but recorded several negative tests in the past 24 hours while Smart treated a sprained foot but did enough before the game for medical staff at the team feels comfortable allowing him to play.

While the Celtics will benefit from the return of Horford and Smart to the lineup, they will be without guard Derrick White for Game 2 as he is absent from the squad to be there as his wife gives birth to their child.

Smart is super important to the Celtics because he’s the glue that helps hold Boston’s defense together, and while he doesn’t display monster numbers on offense, his passing is a vital part of their offense at this end. ground. He helps keep the ball moving if Boston gets too stagnant and does a great job of putting his teammates in a position to see well. His 39.4 percent mark from 3-point range was also an additional weapon the Celtics used against the Bucks.

In Game 6 against Milwaukee, Smart had 21 points, seven rebounds and five assists, while being a defensive pest to help extend the streak for the Celtics. He followed that up with a performance of 11 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds in Game 7, and finished the game with a plus-18.

Game 2 will be crucial for Boston as they don’t want to fall behind 0-2 in the series, so getting those two key pieces back should only help the Celtics’ cause.

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