Celtics do not expect Al Horford back for Game 2, Marcus Smart aiming for Game 2 return

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The Boston Celtics do not anticipate Al Horford being cleared from health and safety protocols prior to Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals on Thursday, league sources told Yahoo Sports. Smart is aiming for a return in Game 2, sources said, but it is dependent on how his foot responds to treatment over the next 36 hours.
Source: Chris Haynes @ Yahoo! Sports

What’s the buzz on Twitter?

Haralabos Voulgaris @haralabob
What is the latest on Marcus Smart – – 3:02 PM

Jared Weiss @JaredWeissNBA
Erik Spoelstra on illness starting to affect availability in this series with Horford in protocol and Udoka sick:
“It’s really disappointing. Every time you think it’s behind us, it’s not and it’s really frustrating for us. You don’t want to see it on both sides.” – 1:45 PM

Tas Melas @TasMelas
When an NBA player says he is getting “round the clock” treatment, how round the clock is it? Cause the Celtics have to be taking it very literally for Marcus Smart. I’d love to see a time lapse during Game 2. – 1:00 PM

Kurt Helin @basketballtalk
Report: Marcus Smart aiming to return for Game 2; Horford likely out nba.nbcsports.com/2022/05/18/rep…12:35 PM

Ira Winderman @IraHeatBeat
Five Degrees of Heat from Tuesday night’s 118-107 opening statement vs. Celtics: sun-sentinel.com/sports/miami-h…
1. Control seized in the third quarter.
2. Butler sizzles again.
3. Vincent provides boost with Lowry out.
4. Herro keeps it afloat early.
5. No Horford or Smart for Celtics. – 8:09 AM

Jay King @ByJayKing
“Just have heart.”
The third quarter felt like the worst parts of the 2020 Eastern Conference Finals all over again. At the end of it, Marcus Smart challenged his team.
My story: theathletic.com/3318532/2022/0…3:12 AM

Ira Winderman @IraHeatBeat
Five Degrees of Heat from Tuesday night’s 118-107 opening statement vs. Celtics: sun-sentinel.com/sports/miami-h…
1. Control seized in the third quarter.
2. Butler sizzles again.
3. Vincent provides boost with Lowry out.
4. Herro keeps it afloat early.
5. No Horford, Smart for Celtics. – 12:13 AM

Keith Smith @KeithSmithNBA
Payton Pritchard on Marcus Smart talking to him and the team int he second half: “Just have heart. He was telling us to compete. To get after it. We were kind of playing soft there for a bit.” – 11:55 PM

Brady Hawk @BradyHawk305
Gabe Vincent asked about his reaction to seeing Horford and Smart out before tonight’s game, and it how it changed their approach:
“I just said okay.” – 11:55 PM

Jared Weiss @JaredWeissNBA
Marcus Smart’s message to the Celtics, per Payton Pritchard: “Just have heart. Just telling us to compete. Get after it. We were kind of playing soft there for a little bit.” – 11:55 PM

Sam Quinn @SamQuinnCBS
This is where Miami’s ability to manufacture starting-caliber role players out of thin air becomes so important.
The Heat were missing Kyle Lowry. Gabe Vincent was great in his place. The Celtics were missing Smart and Horford. Nesmith and Theis weren’t good enough. – 11:25 PM

David Morrow @_DavidMorrow
If Marcus Smart can return soon this really shouldn’t be a very demoralizing loss for Boston. Miami is targeting holes that wouldn’t be there if Boston were healthy. – 11:17 PM

Jared Weiss @JaredWeissNBA
Marcus Smart may be out tonight, but he’s been holding talks with officials during every timeout that he isn’t giving his teammates a pep talk. – 11:07 PM

Law Murray @LawMurrayTheNU
Marcus Smart dressed like Fort Lauderdale 🤣 – 10:44 PM

Jay King @ByJayKing
Just a despicable third quarter from the Celtics. Marcus Smart appears to be ripping them apart right now in the huddle between quarters. From where I’m sitting, he looks like he’s really letting dudes have it. – 10:40 PM

Keith Smith @KeithSmithNBA
That Heat run is one where the Celtics need Smart or Horford to calm things down. They’re the guys who get everyone settled when it starts to snowball. – 10:24 PM

Jay King @ByJayKing
Grant Williams was HOT after that play. Thought he was fouled in transition. Marcus Smart walked over to pull him away from the ref and send him toward the Celtics huddle. The Heat have absolutely dominated the first six minutes of this third quarter. – 10:17 PM

Jay King @ByJayKing
One potentially worrisome number for the Celtics: Tatum played nearly 23 minutes in the first half. The 1:13 he sat was an utter disaster. Without Smart and Horford, Tatum could need to play a ton of minutes in this one. – 9:47 PM

Brian Robb @BrianTRobb
Feels like Celtics have carried over all their offensive momentum from second half of Game 7 into this series, even without Smart/Horford. – 9:43 PM

Jay King @ByJayKing
Marcus Smart giving tips to Aaron Nesmith right now on how to get around screens. Smart is out on the court, showing Nesmith how to do it. – 9:29 PM

John Karalis @John_Karalis
Marcus Smart wearing his Miami best on the sidelines pic.twitter.com/pQS5m3dPnO9:28 PM

Jason Dumas @JDumasReports
Aaron Nesmith playing those Marcus Smart minutes tonight and Celtics haven’t skipped a beat. He’s been phenomenal. – 9:22 PM

Jay King @ByJayKing
Aaron Nesmith minutes here. He’s been out of the rotation for a long time, but without Smart and Horford the Celtics needed another body, and he’s got the length and athleticism to keep up. – 9:16 PM

Kevin Pelton @kpelton
Seeing a lot more conventional pick-and-roll defense from the Celtics after they switched the majority of pick-and-rolls in the Milwaukee series and Miami has been able to get going against it. Much tougher for Boston to switch when it’s not Smart at PG and Horford at C. – 9:08 PM

Jay King @ByJayKing
You could really see the loss of playmaking from the Smart and Horford absences once Tatum hit the bench. – 9:07 PM

Keith Smith @KeithSmithNBA
Rob looks way better than he did against Brooklyn or Milwaukee. Celtics need it with Horford out. – 9:01 PM

Ben Rohrbach @brohrbach
Thought there was a chance no Horford/Smart could result in a Game 1 focus the Celtics might not have had two days after a really tough series. Now a matter of how much gas they have with only seven guys. – 8:53 PM

Haralabos Voulgaris @haralabob
Any insight on how long Al Horford will be out with the Covid Protocols? – 8:33 PM

Sam Quinn @SamQuinnCBS
I picked Boston to win the series and I’m still leaning there even with the Horford mystery, but Miami should be strong favorites tonight given the injuries and their rest advantage. – 8:31 PM

Sean Grande @SeanGrandePBP
Celtics at Heat – FTX Arena – May 17, 2022 – ECF Game 1 Starters
Boston – White, Brown, Tatum, G. Williams, R. Williams
Miami – Gabe Vincent, Max Strus, Jimmy Butler, PJ Tucker, Bam Adebayo
OUT: Boston: Smart, Horford, Hauser Miami: Lowry pic.twitter.com/JCA5nOjLld8:29 PM

Keith Smith @KeithSmithNBA
I won’t change my pick for Celtics-Heat because of the Horford news, but I feel slightly less confident in it.
Celtics in 6.
My Western Conference Finals pick is Warriors in 7. – 7:47 PM

Anthony Chiang @Anthony_Chiang
As Heat opens the East finals without Kyle Lowry, Celtics announce Marcus Smart and Al Horford will also miss Game 1 miamiherald.com/sports/nba/mia…7:35 PM

Tim Reynolds @ByTimReynolds
Celtics rule Smart, Horford out for Game 1 against Heat
apnews.com/article/boston…7:24 PM

Barry Jackson @flasportsbuzz
NEW: Celtics without starters Marcus Smart, Al Horford for Game 1 of East finals vs. Heat. And Celtics say they’re unsure if Horford exposed the whole team to COVID eight hours ago: miamiherald.com/sports/nba/mia…7:23 PM

Mark Murphy @Murf56
Udoka on whether Horford tested positive: “As always, we don’t comment on our status of our guys. He’s feeling fine, and we’ll go from there, wait to see results and tests and future tests. Like always, I don’t comment on our status of our guys.” – 7:22 PM

Chris Forsberg @ChrisForsberg_
Ime Udoka’s pregame press conference airing RIGHT NOW on Celtics Post Up on @NBCSBoston
Al Horford entered health and safety protocols two hours ago. Status uncertain moving forward.
Derrick White and Grant Williams get the start in Game 1. – 7:11 PM

Brian Robb @BrianTRobb
Celtics Game 1 depth chart vs. Heat
Guards: Brown, White, Pritchard, Stauskas
Forwards: Tatum, G. Williams, Nesmith, Fitts, Morgan
Bigs: R. Williams, Theis, Kornet
OUT: Horford (health and safety protocols), Smart (foot), Hauser (shoulder) – 7:11 PM

Anthony Chiang @Anthony_Chiang
Grant Williams and Derrick White are starting for the Celtics tonight with Horford and Smart out.
Celtics learned Horford would need to enter protocols a few hours ago. His status for Games 2 and 3 are also up in the air with protocol clock starting today. – 7:09 PM

JD Shaw @JShawNBA
The Celtics are starting Derrick White in place of Marcus Smart and Robert Williams III in place of Al Horford in Game 1 tonight. – 7:08 PM

Tom Westerholm @Tom_NBA
Udoka confirms that Horford’s availability going forward comes down to testing. Needs the requisite number of negative tests. – 7:08 PM

A. Sherrod Blakely @ASherrodblakely
There’s still soreness, some swelling and some limited movement still with Marcus Smart and his mid-foot sprain injury, according to Ime Udoka. – 7:08 PM

Keith Smith @KeithSmithNBA
Marcus Smart tested things, but had too much soreness in his sprained right foot to play in Game 1, per Ime Udoka.
Udoka said that Smart will test things out again tomorrow and Thursday in hopes of playing in Game 2. – 7:08 PM

Keith Smith @KeithSmithNBA
Ime Udoka said “it’s not definite” that Al Horford will miss through Game 2. Cited the protocols being different than earlier this season.
Udoka also said he’s “honestly unsure” if any other members are the Celtics are considered close contacts or at risk of missing time. – 7:07 PM

A. Sherrod Blakely @ASherrodblakely
Ime Udoka added that Al Horford may be available for Game 2 – 7:06 PM

A. Sherrod Blakely @ASherrodblakely
Ime Udoka said he found out Al Horford would go into health and safety protocol about two hours ago. – 7:05 PM

Gary Washburn @GwashburnGlobe
#Celtics found out about Horford two hours ago. Udoka said it’s not a certainty he will miss Game 2. Derrick White and Grant Williams will start. #Heat7:05 PM

Tim Bontemps @TimBontemps
The Celtics are starting Derrick White in place of Marcus Smart tonight. – 7:05 PM

Tim Reynolds @ByTimReynolds
Ime Udoka says this is the first day that the Celtics knew of a protocols issue with Al Horford. Says he’s feeling fine and that it’s not guaranteed that he’ll miss Game 2. Also won’t say if Horford tested positive.
Derrick White and Grant Williams will start tonight. – 7:05 PM

Jared Weiss @JaredWeissNBA
Al Horford’s testing result came in two hours ago and he is in protocol. Udoka won’t confirm that he tested positive but said he is feeling fine. Unclear if Horford will miss Game 2 at the moment. White and Grant will start.
“Not a definite he is out for two games.” – Udoka – 7:05 PM

Barry Jackson @flasportsbuzz
With Horford (covid) clock starting today, he’s likely to miss game 2 and potentially 3. Grant Williams and Derrick White start with Smart and Hordord out. – 7:05 PM

Brian Robb @BrianTRobb
Ime Udoka on Al Horford: “It’s not definite he’s out for two games.” – 7:04 PM

Keith Smith @KeithSmithNBA
Grant Williams and Derrick White will start in place of Al Horford and Marcus Smart, per Ime Udoka. – 7:04 PM

Jay King @ByJayKing
Ime Udoka said the Celtics found out the news about Al Horford a couple of hours ago. Udoka won’t say whether Horford tested positive, which is the Celtics normal policy. Said Horford’s feeling fine. Said it’s not definite that he will miss Game 2. – 7:04 PM

Brian Robb @BrianTRobb
Ime Udoka on Al Horford: “He’s feeling fine. We’ll go from there.” – 7:04 PM

Keith Smith @KeithSmithNBA
Ime Udoka said the Celtics found out about Al Horford “about two hours ago”.
He added that Horford is feeling fine, but that the team will not comment on his testing status. – 7:04 PM

Brian Robb @BrianTRobb
Ime Udoka on when he found out about Al Horford: “About two hours ago.” – 7:03 PM

Tim Bontemps @TimBontemps
New ESPN story: Boston will begin the Eastern Conference finals without Marcus Smart and Al Horford. espn.com/nba/story/_/id…7:01 PM

Anthony Chiang @Anthony_Chiang
Spoelstra on learning the Celtics will be without Horford and Smart: “I feel like this is the world we’ve been living in for a long time and certainly this year. Every team has had a lot of experience with this. This has become kind of the normal prep and expect the unexpected.” – 7:00 PM

Jay King @ByJayKing
Spoelstra called Boston’s Daniel Theis trade one of the underrated moves. Said he’s a great fit for them and it gives them tremendous depth to be able to not necessarily replace Horford but have someone who can step in. – 6:50 PM

Brady Hawk @BradyHawk305
Erik Spoelstra on finding out about Smart and Horford being ruled out a few hours before tipoff:
“This has become the normal prep. Expect the unexpected.” – 6:48 PM

Tim Reynolds @ByTimReynolds
Spo on Smart, Horford absences: “I feel like this is world we’ve been living in for a long time, certainly this year. Every team has experience dealing with this. This has become the normal prep: Expect the unexpected. We just need to focus on bringing our best version tonight.” – 6:47 PM

Kurt Helin @basketballtalk
Celtics’ starters Smart, Horford out for Game 1 against Heat nba.nbcsports.com/2022/05/17/cel…6:43 PM

Keith Smith @KeithSmithNBA
Game 1 will be what it will be with Al Horford, Marcus Smart and Kyle Lowry all out.
But the key becomes how long those guys are all out. Any one of them getting back soon would be huge.
Worry for Boston is that COVID can still spread very rapidly. That’s worrisome for the C’s. – 6:40 PM

Sean Grande @SeanGrandePBP
Since mid-December, the Celtics are 42-14 with Al Horford.
3-6 without him. – 6:37 PM

Anthony Chiang @Anthony_Chiang
This seems like a game-changer.
As Heat opens the East finals without Kyle Lowry, Celtics announce Marcus Smart and Al Horford will also miss Game 1. The latest: miamiherald.com/sports/nba/mia…6:23 PM

CBS NBA @CBSSportsNBA
Al Horford, Marcus Smart injury updates: Celtics without two key players for Game 1 vs. Heat
cbssports.com/nba/news/al-ho…6:22 PM

Joe Vardon @joevardon
Stunning blow to Celtics before the conference finals start: Not only is Marcus Smart out, but Al Horford is out due to COVID protocol, putting his availability for Game 2 into question. @The Athletic theathletic.com/news/celtics-a…6:19 PM

Brian Robb @BrianTRobb
This is the third time Al Horford has entered NBA health and safety protocols this season. Much more on his and Smart’s absence here along with how Celtics will adjust in their absence masslive.com/celtics/2022/0…6:18 PM

Ira Winderman @IraHeatBeat
Celtics without Marcus Smart, Al Horford for East finals Game 1 vs. Heat, joining Heat’s Lowry as out. sun-sentinel.com/sports/miami-h…6:17 PM

Adrian Wojnarowski @wojespn
Celtics center Robert Williams (sore left knee) had a couple good days of practice and should be able to play significant minutes in Game 1, sources tell ESPN. His importance against Miami certainly increases with the absence of Al Horford. – 6:16 PM

Jay King @ByJayKing
Al Horford entered health and safety protocols in October. He did so again in December. This is his third stint this season in health and safety protocols. – 6:15 PM

Brian Robb @BrianTRobb
Breaking: The latest on Marcus Smart and Al Horford who are both out for Game 1 of East Finals masslive.com/celtics/2022/0…6:09 PM

Tom Westerholm @Tom_NBA
Also the Celtics need to pray this is limited to just Horford because — ICYMI — COVID has been known to spread a bit. – 6:07 PM

Mark Murphy @Murf56
Horford’s absence obviously puts a lot on the ramp-up of Rob Williams. – 6:07 PM

Danny Leroux @DannyLeroux
Talking about Horford (!?!) and Smart being out for the Celtics with @Nate Duncan on @SpotifyLive: spotify.link/duncanandlerou…6:06 PM

Mark Murphy @Murf56
Tough way for Celtics to start. Team announces that Al Horford (health and safety protocols) and Marcus Smart (sprained right foot) are both out for Game 1. – 6:06 PM

Tommy Beer @TommyBeer
Al Horford led the Celtics in rebounds and blocks, and was third in assists in the first round vs. Milwaukee.
Oh and Marcus Smart was the DPOY this season.
Huge losses for Boston – already a bit worn down coming off a grueling 7-game series vs. the Bucks – 6:05 PM

Tom Westerholm @Tom_NBA
During the regular season, the Celtics had a net rating of 2.2 with Smart and Horford (and Dennis Schröder) off the floor. That’s a very significant drop. – 6:03 PM

John Karalis @John_Karalis
Al Horford has entered Health & Safety protocols and is out tonight. Brutal timing for this.
Marcus Smart is also out with his left foot sprain – 6:03 PM

Keith Smith @KeithSmithNBA
One of Boston’s biggest differences this time around vs the 2020 series was that Al Horford would give them a much better matchup vs Bam Adebayo than Daniel Theis did.
That’s removed now, for presumably at least a decent chunk of this series. – 6:02 PM

Ryan McDonald @ryanwmcdonald
Al Horford and Marcus Smart are apparently out for the Celtics tonight pic.twitter.com/rcU5WEhwsA6:01 PM

Keith Smith @KeithSmithNBA
The Celtics have historically been very good when they have players out, but not having Al Horford and Marcus Smart is testing those limits more than is reasonable. – 6:00 PM

Brady Hawk @BradyHawk305
Marcus Smart and Al Horford ruled out tonight for game 1
Well that changes things – 6:00 PM

Chris Haynes @ChrisBHaynes
Boston Celtics announce Al Horford (Health & Safety Protocols) and Marcus Smart (Right Mid-Foot Sprain) are out tonight against the Miami Heat. – 5:59 PM

Chris Forsberg @ChrisForsberg_
Celtics say Al Horford is in health and safety protocol. Marcus Smart is OUT due to foot injury. – 5:59 PM

JD Shaw @JShawNBA
The Celtics say Al Horford (Health & Safety Protocols) and Marcus Smart (right mid-foot sprain) are out for tonight’s Game 1. – 5:59 PM

Anthony Chiang @Anthony_Chiang
Celtics announce Al Horford is out tonight because of health and safety protocols. Marcus Smart also out with right mid-foot sprain. – 5:59 PM

Tim Bontemps @TimBontemps
The Celtics announced Marcus Smart and Al Horford are both out tonight. Horford is in the health and safety protocols, and Smart suffered a foot sprain in Game 7. – 5:58 PM

Jared Weiss @JaredWeissNBA
Celtics announce Al Horford is out in Health and Safety Protocols and Marcus Smart is out with his foot sprain. Huge blow for the Celtics right before Game 1 in Miami. – 5:58 PM

Keith Smith @KeithSmithNBA
Al Horford and Marcus Smart are both OUT tonight, per the Celtics. – 5:58 PM

Jay King @ByJayKing
Al Horford (health and safety protocols) and Marcus Smart (sprained foot) have both been ruled out of Game 1, per the Celtics. – 5:58 PM

Shams Charania @ShamsCharania
Celtics‘ Al Horford and Marcus Smart are out for Game 1 vs. Miami tonight. Horford is in health and safety protocols. – 5:58 PM

More on this storyline

Gary Washburn: Huge blow for #Celtics. Al Horford (health and safety protocols) and Marcus Smart (foot) both ruled OUT for Game 1 vs. #Heat. -via Twitter @GwashburnGlobe / May 17, 2022

Mark Murphy: Ime Udoka would not rule out Horford for Game 2 – said everything depends on testing protocols. Horford has now gone into protocol for the third time, also including preseason and a five-game absence in December. -via Twitter @Murf56 / May 17, 2022

Anthony Slater: Steve Kerr did not travel with the Warriors to Memphis today. That lines up Mike Brown to be the head coach again for Game 5. -via Twitter @anthonyVslater / May 10, 2022