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Smart eyeing Game 2 return, Celtics not expecting to get Horford back

How can Celtics bounce back in Game 2 vs. Heat?
How can Celtics bounce back in Game 2 vs. Heat? 01:21

BOSTON -- It's hard to tell if things will get better or worse for the Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals. One day after losing Al Horford to Health and Safety Protocols, forcing him to sit out Game 1 against the Heat, Celtics head coach Ime Udoka had to cancel his Wednesday morning press conference.

Udoka had to take a sick day on Wednesday for a non-COVID illness, but any illness is a cause for concern at the moment. The Celtics announced that Udoka will be available for Thursday's media session leading up to Game 2 in Miami, so hopefully this is just a one-day thing for the Boston head coach.

As for Horford, the team isn't expecting to have their big man back for Thursday night, according to Yahoo Sports. There is a small chance that Horford could maneuver his way out of health and safety protocols, but the Celtics aren't counting on it.

There is some good news though, as Yahoo is reporting that Boston point guard Marcus Smart is eyeing a return in Game 2 after a foot injury caused him to miss Tuesday night's series opening loss. Smart had to sit out Game 1 with a right foot sprain, and the Celtics sorely missed two of their starters in a 117-108 defeat.

Getting Smart back will help the Boston defense as it looks to slow Heat star Jimmy Butler, who went off for 41 points on Tuesday night. Butler scored 17 of his Game 1 points in the third quarter, when Miami outscored Boston 39-14 to take control of the game.

Smart tried to rally the Celtics from the bench after that disastrous quarter, but his biggest impact obviously comes when he's on the floor. Depending on how his foot reacts over the next day, he may be back in the Celtics lineup, looking to help the Celtics tie the series at 1-1 before it shifts to Boston.

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