Horford, Porzingis out vs. Bucks

Horford, Porzingis out vs. Bucks


The Boston Celtics will be without their two top big men tonight for their last road game of the regular season. Both Kristaps Porzingis and Al Horford will receive a day of rest before the Celtics host Eastern Conference rival New York Knicks on Thursday.

Facing the Milwaukee Bucks tonight, the injury report comes as no surprise as the regular season dwindles. Having locked up the number one seed in the Eastern Conference, head coach Joe Mazzulla appears to be taking a careful approach to managing his roster.

Porzingis, the latest Eastern Conference Player of the Week, will don street clothes tonight due to right hamstring injury management. This will be his 22nd missed game of the season, in which he’s averaged 20.2 points, 7.2 rebounds, 2.0 assists, and 1.9 blocks on the season.

While his injury designation is precautionary, Porizngis suffered a hamstring injury that left him out of the lineup for five straight games in March.

In the C’s 124-107 victory over Portland Sunday, Mazzulla rested Porzingis the entire fourth quarter. The Latvian native put up 12 points, 10 rebounds, two assists, three steals, and five steals in just 21 minutes on the court. In his first season in Boston, the big man is averaging a career-high 51.8 field goal percentage.

Horford will rest tonight (toe) considering he started the last two consecutive games for the Celtics. A finalist for the NBA Teammate of the Year Award, Horford has remained a core member of Mazzulla’s top-six rotation. Suiting up in 64 games this season, the Dominican native has put up remarkable numbers over the last ten games: 11.6 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 2.3 assists on 44.4 three-point shooting.

In an Eastern Conference rivals matchup, Luke Kornet or Xavier Tillman will likely get the starting nod against Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks tonight. In his third straight season with the C’s, Kornet has become a beloved rotational player. Starting just five games on the year, the center is averaging 5.1 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 1.3 assists in 59 games played.

Tillman, who was recently acquired from the Memphis Grizzlies, hit the game-winning shot against the Kings last week. It will interesting to see how he will matchup against Antetokounmpo, especially with his large frame. This would be a great test for Tillman, who played hefty playoff minutes last season against LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

Aside from Kornet and Tillman, Oshae Brissett should see hefty minutes. Probable for tonight’s matchup, it will take bodies to stop the “Greek Freak.” A double-double machine, Antetokounmpo averages 22.5 points and 12.5 boards against Boston this season.

Celtics center Neemias Queta will attend the G-League Finals in Maine tonight after securing the 15th roster spot, further depleting the team’s frontcourt depth. Similar to Boston, Milwaukee has several players listed on their injury report.

In the fourth and final matchup of the season, the Celtics command a 2-1 series lead over the Bucks. The Bucks are looking to grasp the second seed in the East, but are 3-7 in their last ten games.


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