The Boston Celtics had one day off in the lead-up to the 2022 Eastern Conference Finals against the Miami Heat on the heels of their Game 7 win over the Milwaukee Bucks. That, mixed with both Al Horford and Marcus Smart getting ruled out of the game before tip, led to the Celtics running out of gas in the second half against a Heat team firing on all cylinders. As a result, Miami took Game 1, 118-107.
While winning in Miami is always difficult, he good news for Boston is that reinforcements are on their way for Game 2. The team announced on Thursday afternoon that Al Horford, who was out due to the league’s health and safety protocols, got the all clear and will play.
This comes on the heels of the team announcing that Smart’s foot sprain has led to him being upgraded to probable, with head coach Ime Udoka telling the press, “He’s better but still has to test it out pregame. But he’s probable for tonight. When he goes before the game, we’ll know from there, but he looked better in shootaround today and overall we expect him to play.”
While these two players returning is a huge boost for Boston’s chances of evening up the series before the series shifts to Massachusetts, it’s not all good news for the Celtics. Derrick White, who has provided a steady hand off the bench since coming over at the trade deadline, will miss Game 2 for personal reasons.