The Celtics will be looking for redemption in Miami Thursday night, but it won’t be easy.
The Celtics are hoping to have defensive player of the year Marcus Smart (mid-foot sprain) back for Game 2, listing him as probable for Thursday night. Boston was also without forward Al Horford (health and safety protocols) for Game 1 — he is doubtful for Game 2. And coach Ime Udoka was sick Wednesday with a non-COVID illness.
“We have a lot of confidence,” Celtics center Daniel Theis said Wednesday as his team gathered for a film session.
Tuesday’s game in Miami was a tough start to the Eastern Conference finals. The Celtics lost with a terrible performance in the third quarter. This time around, they'll have to find a way to stop Jimmy Butler, who scored 40 points for the Heat.
The good news: the Celtics are 3-0 after losses in these playoffs, winning those bounceback games by an average of 14.7 points and getting two of those victories on the road. The players said they’ll be prepared Thursday night.
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“Expect us to play better,” said Boston forward Jayson Tatum. “Expect myself to play a lot better.”
Thursday night‘s game starts at 8:30 p.m. Game 3 is back at the TD Garden Saturday night.
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The Associated Press contributed to this report.