Celtics big-man depth takes a hit ahead of Conference Finals opener

The Boston Celtics will open their Eastern Conference Finals series against the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday (May 21). Joe Mazzulla’s team will play the first two games in front of their own crowd after securing the first seed in their conference during the regular season.

However, Mazzulla will be without two big men for Tuesday’s game. Kristaps Porzingis is still recovering from the right soleus strain he suffered when facing the Miami Heat, and Xavier Tillman has been ruled out of contention due to personal reasons. Al Horford and Luke Kornet will be the only bigs available big men heading into the opening game.

Tillman’s absence could be a potential blow for the Celtics. While he hasn’t seen much playing time during the postseason, his ability to switch and guard on the perimeter could have proven useful against a Pacers team that likes to play a five-out offense and attack at pace.

Horford and Kornet are both reliable big men. Mazzulla will undoubtedly lean on both of them as he looks to stifle one of the best offensive teams in the NBA. Whether Tillman gets an opportunity once he returns to the rotation will remain to be seen.

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Story originally appeared on Celtics Wire