The Atlanta Hawks could be down two centers when they open their first-round playoff series against the Boston Celtics this weekend. Al Horford says that he will miss the first-round series and Zaza Pachulia is also uncertain to be ready by this weekend as he recovers from a foot injury.
Pachulia has missed the last six games and will not play on Thursday against the Mavericks. He suffered a sprained ligament in his foot earlier this month against the Orlando Magic. He had been listed as day-to-day by the team and seems to be progressing but has not returned to action. Pachulia is scheduled to be re-examined this weekend and no doubt the Hawks will have their fingers crossed.
If Pachulia is unable to suit up against Boston, Larry Drew may be pressed into going with a small lineup with Josh Smith matched up with Kevin Garnett at the center position. Drew went with that lineup earlier against the New York Knicks when Amare Stoudemire got the start at center.