Celtics center Al Horford is set to make his Eastern Conference finals debut Thursday after being sidelined for Game 1 against the Heat due to healthy and safety protocols.
Boston announced Horford has been cleared to play roughly two hours after listing the 35-year-old as questionable. The veteran big man and Defensive player of the year Marcus Smart (foot) were unavailable for the club’s 118–107 loss in Miami on Tuesday; Smart is currently listed as probable.
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Horford’s presence has been crucial for the Celtics throughout the playoffs, with the former All-Star stepping up with several big plays on both ends of the floor. He’ll be expected to step right back into that role against Bam Adebayo and a physical Heat defense.
In his 11 appearances this postseason, Horford has averaged 13 points, 9.4 rebounds and 1.4 blocks on 36.5 minutes per game.
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