Celtics Al Horford and Marcus Smart Out for Game 1 Against the Heat

The Celtics will be short two starters for tip off of the Eastern Conference Finals tonight in Miami.

Al Horford is out due to NBA Health and Safety protocols and Marcus Smart is sidelined with a mid-foot sprain.

Boston made the announcement about three hours before game time.

Smart suffered the sprain against the Bucks Sunday in Game 7 and was experiencing soreness.

The Celtics didn’t say when they thought Smart would return.

Horford is expected to be unavailable for at least the first two games of the series, per ESPN.

It’s the third time Horford has been placed in the league’s health and safety protocols, testing positive for COVID in the preseason and being placed in protocols last December.

The veteran center has been a big boost in the playoffs, averaging 13 points, 9.4 rebounds, 3.4 assists, and just over one block and one steal per game.

Sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski that the Celtics’ Robert Williams III is expected to play significant minutes in place of Horford.

Williams missed games 5 and 6 against the Bucks with a bone bruise.