The Boston Celtics and New York Knicks are two of the NBA’s most historic franchises, but they’re also two of its biggest rivals. On Wednesday night, the Celtics and Knicks faced off in a heated matchup that was expected to be a close one. It wasn’t quite that close, though. The Celtics won by 13 points over the Knicks, who were without their star player Al Horford due to injury.

The al horford trade is a question that has been asked many times. There are many reasons as to why Al Horford was not traded, but the most common one is because he was still under contract with the Celtics.

This summer, the Boston Celtics reconnected with an old buddy by acquiring Al Horford in a trade. After two years away from the club, the big man is anticipated to return to the starting lineup, and he is expected to play a key part in the Celtics’ quest for the Eastern Conference title.

Horford’s long-awaited comeback will have to wait a few days longer, as he has been ruled out of Boston’s season-opening game against the New York Knicks. So, why isn’t Horford playing on Wednesday night, and when can we expect him to return?

This summer, the Celtics re-signed Al Horford.

Al Horford is out for the Celtics against the Knicks.

Al Horford is out for the Celtics against the Knicks. During Media Day, Boston Celtics’ Al Horford poses for a picture | Omar Rawlings/Getty Images

When Brad Stevens stepped down as the Celtics’ head coach this summer to become the team’s president of basketball operations, he lost no time in bringing back an old buddy from his coaching days.

Kemba Walker was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Al Horford, Moses Brown, and a 2023 second-round selection only a few weeks after Stevens started his new position. Stevens understands how well Horford gels with Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, and he wants to get the three back together.

Horford told reporters during his first news conference, “I’m very, really pleased to be back.” “I’m aware of how unique a location Boston is. Being gone has made me realize how unique the city is, as well as how unique the team is to the city.

“Obviously, I feel like I learnt a lot, and change was sometimes for the best in my situation.” I’m simply glad to get a second chance to come back here and finish what I began.”

The Celtics reached the Eastern Conference Finals twice in Horford’s three seasons in Boston, and were one victory from from reaching the NBA Finals in 2018. Over the past two seasons, the veteran center has battled to find a position with the Philadelphia 76ers and Oklahoma City Thunder, but he’s back in green and white and feeling more confident than ever.

Why is Al Horford not in the Celtics’ lineup against the Knicks?

#NEBHInjuryReport for tomorrow’s game vs New York:

QUESTIONABLE – Jaylen Brown (Recovery from Post-Health and Safety Protocols) OUT: Al Horford (Health and Safety Protocols)

October 19, 2021 — Boston Celtics (@celtics)

Horford was expected to return to the Celtics for the start of the season, but he will not play in Wednesday’s season opener against the Knicks.

Horford was diagnosed with COVID-19 last week and was forced to miss the team’s last two preseason games. He hasn’t been allowed to play yet, so he’ll sit out the Celtics’ game against the Knicks on Wednesday night.

Jaylen Brown has been allowed to play against the Knicks after testing positive for the virus a few days before Horford. Horford should be able to make his season debut on Sunday when the Celtics play the Houston Rockets, according to Brown’s timetable.

Grant Williams will take his position.

According to Udoka, Grant Williams will start tonight at power forward.

October 20, 2021 — Jay King (@ByJayKing)

Ime Udoka, the Celtics’ head coach, said on Wednesday that third-year forward Grant Williams would start in Horford’s stead against the Knicks. Williams appeared in nine games for Boston last season, averaging only 5.7 points per game.

Brown, Tatum, Marcus Smart, and Robert Williams will start in place of Grant Williams on Wednesday night.

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RELATED: Kemba Walker Is Determined to Hold the Boston Celtics Accountable for Trading Him: ‘Does the fact that it’s my old team make it any better? Yes, without a doubt’

Al Horford is a basketball player for the Boston Celtics. He was traded to the Celtics in the summer of 2016, but he has yet to play against the New York Knicks in his career. Reference: al horford stats.

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