Celtics injury updates: Marcus Smart listed as likely, Al Horford doubtful, Derrick White out for Game 2

Getty Images

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. Smart is suffering from a midfoot sprain, while Horford entered league health and safety protocols on Tuesday.

Ahead of Game 2 on Thursday, Smart was listed as likely, while Horford went from questionable to doubtful and Derrick White was ruled out as his wife is having a child, by the team.

Smart underwent an MRI on his right foot on Monday and the imaging came back clean, by ESPN, which is encouraging news for the Celtics in the long run. In the short term, however, this puts them in a difficult situation. Smart, who was named NBA Defensive Player of the Year a few weeks ago, was integral to Boston’s victory over the Bucks in the second round of the playoffs.

In Game 6, he 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.

Smart is the glue that helps hold Boston’s defense together, and while he doesn’t put up monster numbers on offense, his passing is a necessity for the Celtics. He helps keep the ball moving if Boston gets too stagnant and does a great job of setting his teammates up for a good look. His 39.4% mark from 3-point range was also an additional weapon the Celtics used against the Bucks.

Being without Smart was always a possibility for the Celtics in Game 1, but the news that Horford was sidelined due to health and safety protocols came as a surprise. These two guys are arguably the most important to Boston’s defense, and Horford’s offensive production was key to Boston’s Game 4 road win over the Bucks in the second round.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.