Celtics’ starters Smart, Horford out for Game 1 against Heat
The Boston Celtics already faced high hurdles in Game 1: A 48-hour turnaround from an emotional Game 7 win, then having to board a plane and travel to Miami to take on a rested Miami Heat team.
Now comes word the Heat will be without two starters, Marcus Smart and Al Horford.
Smart had been battling a few smaller injuries, then he suffered the foot sprain in Game 7 which limited him. The injury happened late in the first quarter when Giannis Antetokounmpo was driving the lane, Smart leaped to try and contest his shot but Antetokounmpo was tripped and, as he went down, took out Smart’s legs on accident. At the time it looked like Smart’s wrist was bothering him but he shook it off. However, he sprained his foot on that play as well.
Horford being in COVID health and safety protocols was unexpected. He’s going to miss more than one game because of this.
As noted by Wojnarowski, Horford being out will mark big minutes for Robert Williams at the five for Boston.
With Smart out, look for Derrick White to get the start and Payton Pritchard to get extra run. However, losing the Defensive Player of the Year will sting on that end of the court.