Celtics’ Luke Kornet sustained a left wrist injury in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals

Luke Kornet pic
Luke Kornet pic

On Thursday night, the Celtics hosted the Pacers for Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Boston won 1206-110 backed by a 40-point performance from Jaylen Brown. The Celtics now have a 2-0 series lead heading into Game 3 in Indiana. For the last eight games in the 2024 playoffs, Boston has been without starting center Kristaps Porzingis. 

He injured his calf vs. the Miami Heat in Game 4 of the first round and hasn’t returned since. Backup center, 37-year-old Al Horford, has had to fill in for Boston. Additionally, third-string center Luke Kornet has seen minutes increase since Porzingis has been out. In Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals, Kornet suffered a wrist injury late in the first half. After halftime, he was questionable to return but did not play any more minutes for Boston. They’ll hope that Kornet doesn’t miss much time.

Boston continues to lose depth at center in the 2024 playoffs

The 2023-24 season is Luke Kornet’s fourth year with the Boston Celtics. His (15.6) minutes per game this season is the highest of his career since 2018-19. This was Kornet’s second straight season playing 60+ games. He averaged (5.3) points, (4.1) rebounds, (1.1) assists, and (1.0) blocks per game. After injuring his wrist in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals, he now joins Kristaps Porzingis on the injury report. Not ideal for the Celtics at this point in the season.

Kornet was seen postgame wearing a brace on his wrist. Al Horford is already being asked to play extra minutes this postseason. If Kornet ends up missing time, Horford will have to play an even bigger role. There’s only so much the 37-year-old can do. He’ll be 38 in less than two weeks. Head coach Joe Mazzulla will have to go deep in his bench to replace the presence of backup center Luke Kornet.

Xavier Tillman was acquired by the Celtics at the trade deadline this season. His number could be called more over the next few games. Tillman misses Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals due to the death of his father. He was used sparingly in Game 2. Instead, Joe Mazzulla turned to forward Oshane Brissett for some quality minutes off the bench. At this point in the season, the Celtics have to string together minutes from bench players to help fill a void at the backup center.

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