The equation for the Eastern Conference Finals for the Boston Celtics changed again, with guard Derrick White reporting the team would miss Thursday night’s Game 2 at the FTX Arena against the Miami Heat for childbirth.
White replaced Marcus Smart on Tuesday night in the Celtics’ series-start losing streak, who was sidelined with a mid-leg sprain.
White is expected to return for Game 3 of a best-of-seven series on Saturday night at TD Garden.
“It came sooner than expected,” Celtics coach Ime Udoka said of White’s plans, “but we always support our men in that situation.”
The Celtics acquired White in midseason from the San Antonio Spurs in exchange for former Heat guard Josh Richardson.
Smart was working with the Celtics before Thursday night’s game.
The latest twist with White comes with Celtics big man Al Horford in NBA health and safety protocols, and with Heat guard Kyle Lowry being sidelined with a hamstring strain for the second week in a row.
Horford, awaiting test results, was upgraded to suspect on Thursday.
“He didn’t feel sick,” Udoka said of Horford on Thursday. “He’s feeling fine. He’s fine. It’s something that was unexpected. Just the protocol and the tests he hasn’t passed, and we’ll go from there.”
Udoka had pulled out of the team on Wednesday due to a non-COVID illness. He said on Thursday he was “well now.”
Regarding Smart’s participation in Boston’s morning shootaround, Celtics forward Grant Williams said, “He looked good. Smart is competitive, so I always expect him, whether he’s hurt or injured, to try.” Will try