Two key Boston Celtics — Marcus Smart and Al Horford — have been ruled out for Tuesday night's Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
Smart is out due to a mid-foot sprain suffered in Game 7 against the Milwaukee Bucks. Horford is missing tonight's contest under health and safety protocols.
The NBA world took to Twitter to react to this disappointing news for the Celtics.
"If the Heat don’t win tonight then they’re losing the series in 5," one fan suggested.
"Not great. But we thrive in the face of adversity!! #BleedGreen," a Celtics fan added.
These two absences are obviously a huge blow for the Celtics — especially on the defensive side of the ball. Smart is the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year and Horford has shown excellent versatility guarding multiple positions so far this postseason.
Both Smart and Horford are also averaging more than 13 points per game in the playoffs. Horford is shooting an incredibly-efficient 45.1% from behind the three-point arc.
Horford told reporters that he's vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus prior to the Celtics' postseason run.
Tonight's game against the Miami Heat will tipoff at 8:30 p.m. ET.