The Boston Celtics felt the absence of Marcus Smart and Al Horford during their Game 1 loss against the Miami Heat on Tuesday. Despite a decent first half, the Celtics flamed out in the second half, losing the game 118-107. Smart had been dealing with a foot sprain he sustained in Game 7 against the Bucks, while Horford had entered the league's health and safety protocols. Ahead of Game 2, the Celtics received a mixed bag of updates regarding their two key players, via Chris Haynes of Yahoo!

According to Haynes, the Celtics are not expecting Horford to clear the league's COVID protocols in time to make a return for Game 2 in Miami. While it's possible he's able to test out of protocols and return to the court, Haynes indicates that it's “highly unlikely.”

As for Smart, the reigning Defensive Player of the Year is hoping to return in Game 2, but the next 36 hours will reportedly be crucial in determining whether or not he suits up. He'll be undergoing treatment on his foot in order to get back in time, and the expectation is that he'll play, but ultimately it'll come down to how the injury responds to the treatment he receives.

The absence of the two key players in Game 1 was noticeable on defense, particularly in the third quarter when the Celtics were outscored by the Heat, 39-14. Horford's elite interior rim protection was sorely missed against Miami, and not having Smart to pester ball handlers on the perimeter was another notable absence.

While Horford seems unlikely to be cleared in time for Game 2, fans will be hoping that Smart is able to suit up and retake his role in the starting lineup ahead of Thursday's clash.