Horford out, Pachulia game-time decision for Hawks


Horford out, Pachulia game-time decision for Hawks

ATLANTA The Boston Celtics aren't the only ones with a weakened roster due to injuries.

Atlanta Hawks coach Larry Drew confirmed that Al Horford will not play in Game 1 of their playoff series against the Boston Celtics on Sunday.

Horford had left pectoral surgery earlier this year and has missed all but 11 games this season.

The Hawks aren't sure if they'll have Horford's replacement, Zaza Pachulia available, either. He is suffering from a sprained left foot injury.

Drew said the team will not decide until shortly before tip-off if he will play on Sunday.

The Hawks have used Jason Collins at center lately, but won't rule out sliding Josh Smith over to the middle or possibly giving more minutes in the frontcourt to rookie Ivan Johnson or veteran Erick Dampier.

"We've had that issue a great majority of the season," Drew said. "Obviously with Al being gone, we've had games with Zaza out and we've made the adjustments. Obviously, Jason Collins is a guy that we like in this type of position because he's done so well with it. And we can go small at the five-spot, playing Josh at the five, Ivan at the five or we may move Damp, and give him some minutes. We're going to have to feel our way through this."

Smith, who averages a team-high 9.6 rebounds per game, is well aware that he and the rest of his teammates have to pick it up on the boards against the Celtics who come into Sunday's game as one of the NBA's worst - No. 29, to be exact - rebounding teams this season. The Hawks have had their problems as well, also ranking in the NBA's bottom 10 in rebounds per game.

"We gotta gang rebound," Smith told CSNNE.com. "Players have to get in there and rebound, including the guards."

NBA officiating: Smart foul that cost C's potential win was wrong call

NBA officiating: Smart foul that cost C's potential win was wrong call

Were it not for a Marcus Smart personal foul with under 12 seconds to play, the Celtics might have won Saturday’s game against the Trail Blazers in regulation. Instead, they lost in overtime, but it turns out they should have at least had a shot at the regulation win. 

The game's Last Two Minute Report released by NBA officiating, which assesses all calls made in the final two minutes of play, labels the Smart foul “IC,” or “incorrect call.”

Smart was called for a personal foul on a play in which he stole the ball from Damian Lillard under the net and scored. Had the foul not been called, Boston would have held a 112-111 lead with 10.8 seconds remaining. 

The report states the following: The replay shown on the DF BCAST shows Smart (BOS) makes clean contact with the ball.

Portland went on to outscore Boston, 14-10, in overtime to earn a 127-123 win at TD Garden.