Kyrie Irving
(Charles Krupa / AP Photo)

The Brooklyn Nets will face a shorthanded Boston Celtics lineup without All-Stars Kyrie Irving or Al Horford available.

The Brooklyn Nets are fighting for their playoff lives right now. On Saturday, they will catch a break against the Boston Celtics. The team announced via Twitter that they will be without Kyrie Irving and Al Horford.

Irving is dealing with left knee soreness and Horford is working through soreness in his lower back. In addition to the two All-Stars, Jayson Tatum is questionable with an illness.

Irving is leading Boston in scoring and assists per game. Of course, the Celtics have a solid backup point guard in Terry Rozier, but the Nets will consider themselves lucky all the same.

One of Brooklyn’s biggest weaknesses lies in slowing down dominant centers. Horford is often overlooked for how integral he is to Boston’s gameplan.

This presents a golden opportunity for the seventh-place Nets. The Celtics are firmly entrenched as the fourth or fifth seed in the Eastern Conference. At this point, they are valuing health over playoff seeding.

The Nets must pounce on the shorthanded Boston outfit because they have little margin for error down the stretch. Brooklyn holds a slim one-game lead over the ninth-place Orlando Magic and a half-game lead over the eighth-place Miami Heat.

Orlando will take on the Indiana Pacers and the Heat will take on the New York Knicks. It’s possible that the Nets drop below the Heat and in a tie with the Magic by the end of Saturday night. Brooklyn holds the tiebreaker over Orlando.

NY/NJ hoops reporter (NBA/NCAA) & sports betting writer for XL Media. Never had the makings of a varsity athlete.