Celtics' Al Horford, Grant Williams in Health and Safety Protocols; Out vs. Warriors

Erin WalshDecember 17, 2021

BOSTON, MA - NOVEMBER 12: Al Horford #42 of the Boston Celtics dribbles the ball during the game against the Milwaukee Bucks on November 12, 2021 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE  (Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)
Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images

Boston Celtics big men Al Horford and Grant Williams have been placed in health and safety protocols and will not play Friday against the Golden State Warriors, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium.

Horford's absence is unfortunate for the Celtics as head coach Ime Udoka likes to play him at both the 4 or 5, depending on what sort of lineup he's going with.

Horford is in the midst of a resurgent season in Boston, averaging 12.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.5 blocks through 24 games.

The 35-year-old spent the 2019-20 season with the Philadelphia 76ers before he was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder for the 2020-21 campaign. He rejoined the Celtics in a trade from the Thunder in June.

While Horford is the biggest loss to Boston, being without Williams will hurt on Friday as well.

The third-year man is enjoying a career year and has been a key contributor for the Celtics this season, primarily off the bench.

In 28 games, Williams is averaging 7.5 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.5 three-pointers made while also shooting 51.1 percent from the field and a scorching 45.3 percent from beyond the arc.

Boston's frontcourt will be thin Saturday without Horford and Williams, likely forcing Udoka to lean heavily on Robert Williams and Enes Freedom.

The 14-14 Celtics were already significant underdogs against the league-leading Warriors, and with no Horford or Williams, pulling off the upset will be even more difficult.