Al Horford has been downgraded to out for tonight’s matchup with the Atlanta Hawks.
The Celtics and Hawks tip off tonight from State Farm Arena at 7:30 PM EST.
#NEBHInjuryReport: Brad Stevens says of Al Horford, “I’d say Al is unlikely tonight.” He adds that Horford’s knee soreness is not a long-term thing and Horford could play tomorrow in Dallas. Robert Williams will be active.— Boston Celtics (@celtics) November 23, 2018
Al Horford was listed as questionable yesterday as the Celtics traveled to Atlanta, so this qualifies as a downgrade. Thankfully, the issue doesn’t appear to be serious due to the potential for Horford to play tomorrow in Dallas against the Mavericks. Robert Williams, who’s seen limited action so far this season, could potentially see time tonight against the 3-15 Atlanta Hawks.
Brad Stevens has an interesting decision to make regarding the starting lineup in Horford’s absence. Earlier this week, Gordon Hayward was relegated to the bench to seek some sort of patch for the Celtics’ bleeding record. It failed, and the Celtics have now dropped 3 games in a row.
Will Stevens go back to Hayward in the starting lineup alongside Aron Baynes? Will he go for someone unconventional? Perhaps Marcus Smart to beef up the Celtics’ first-quarter toughness. Maybe he’ll lean on a player like Semi Ojeleye or Daniel Theis instead.
Horford’s absence also could be a symptom of the added strain to his body as the full-time center prior to this week. While this injury is not serious, hopefully maintenance on his knee does not become an ongoing problem, especially for a team with aspirations to be playing well into June.