Celts' Smart upgraded to probable for Game 2
celts' smart upgraded to probable for game 2

Celts’ Smart upgraded to probable for Game 2

12:35 PM ET

  • Tim BontempsESPN

MIAMI — The Boston Celtics announced Thursday morning that Marcus Smart has been upgraded to probable for Thursday’s Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Miami Heat.

Smart is expected to be back in the starting lineup as Boston’s point guard and floor general at both ends of the court. He sat out in Boston’s 118-107 Game 1 loss because of the midfoot sprain he suffered in the Celtics’ Game 7 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Sunday afternoon in the Eastern Conference semifinals. Smart was injured when he tumbled over Bucks superstar forward Giannis Antetokounmpo.

“He’s better but still has to test it out pregame,” Celtics coach Ime Udoka said. “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.”

Celtics center Al Horford, meanwhile, was upgraded to questionable early Thursday afternoon — after being upgraded to doubtful Wednesday evening — after he abruptly entered the NBA’s health and safety protocols shortly before Game 1.

For a player to return to game action after testing positive for the coronavirus, there are two paths: return two consecutive negative PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests at least 24 hours apart or return two consecutive PCR tests sampled at least 24 hours apart with cycle threshold (CT) values greater than 30 beginning no sooner than Day 4 and 5 after initially testing positive.

“We’re unsure about his status until some testing results come back,” Udoka said shortly before the team announced Horford’s upgrade to questionable. “There’s a possibility, but right now he’s doubtful.”

The Celtics also announced that Derrick White will miss Game 2 for personal reasons, as he and his wife are expecting a child.

“Derrick is having a baby,” Udoka said. “It came sooner than expected. But we support our guys always in that situation. He had to rush home today.”

White started Game 1 in place of Smart and finished with three points and four assists in 29 minutes. He is expected to be back with the team for Game 3 on Saturday night when the series shifts back to Boston.

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