Since Al Horford came to play for the Boston Celtics, he’s been the glue that sticks the team together. With the Celtics now one of the best teams in the league, he’ll be key.
Al Horford is a widely underrated player in the NBA. In a day and age where it is easy to just look at the box score and basic statistics, the main portions of Horford’s work can, easily, be overlooked. While its known to Boston Celtics fans how effective he is, many critics discount the fact that he can do almost everything on a basketball court.
The five-time all-star has enjoyed a long career in the league, thus far. His tenure with Atlanta saw him develop into a top center in the league. However, he has become an important part of a contending team, here in Boston, and what he does for this team is far more than put up points or gather rebounds.
Sharing a floor with the likes of superstar point guard Kyrie Irving, All-star Gordon Hayward and young budding stars in the starting lineup, as well as on the bench, limits Horford’s statistics – which is why what he does is overlooked by many. He averaged 13-7-5 in the 2017-18 season, but, more than this, he led the Celtics to the Eastern Conference Championship round on the back of a hard season for Boston, injury-wise.
This year, with a healthy Gordon Hayward back, Jayson Tatum ready to take it to another level and the likes of Marcus Smart leading a talented bench, Boston has a chance to compete with Golden State and go toe-to-toe with top opponents, on any given night.
Horford’s ability to score inside and outside, his toughness and his basketball IQ rounds off an exceptional talent at the center of the Celtics line up. His passing ability is second to none, at both the 4 or 5 spots. So far, this year, he’s recorded 8 assists, against Milwaukee and 9 against Toronto – two of the top three Eastern Conference rivals that the Celtics have.
He can be a pillar for many outlets – including a playmaking focal point in this Celtics team, going forward. With the talent on this roster and Horford’s personal skillset, he’s a glue guy that will not only bring the team to the next level, but will help them excel when they get there.
Horford’s a special player who can record high numbers of not only points, but rebounds, assists, blocks and steals, when he is called upon. He’s not a player who will score 20-30 points every night, and right now that’s not what’s expected. Although, he has the talent to do this, his job is different – and he’s doing it very well.
If Horford can continue to perform as a front court leader, while Kyrie leads the backcourt – and they continue their excellent link up play, these two will be able to propel the Celtics further than last year.
As the heart and soul of this Boston team, Horford, has an important job and the Celtics will be reliant on him at many times, during the course of the year – and Horford will be ready.