The Boston Celtics could benefit from Al Horford playing more selfish
It’s the last leg of the NBA regular season. The Boston Celtics are sitting in second place in the Eastern Conference and look like they’ll hold on to that spot for the playoffs. They’ve also been decimated by injuries.
It’s a big debate which is better, being rested or in rhythm. So we look at the injuries, the active players and see Al Horford falls on the active player list. Can he carry us to the playoffs? He makes one of the highest salaries on the team and was named an All-Star this year.
The answer is no, he’s not the type of player who can carry us on a nightly basis. Horford is not a prolific scorer and without good players around him, he cannot carry a team. Horford’s strength lies in his ability to do the little things right.
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He’s a very good passing big man, he sets strong screens and can generally fill the stat sheet. Horford’s best games come when he can grab an offensive rebound and kick it out to an open Brown in the corner or pass to a cutting Irving.
For those banging your heads against the table watching the Celtics play the New Orleans Pelicans and seeing Horford only score 6 points and grab 4 rebounds in a loss, I understand. His four-year deal worth $113 million dollars says he should be a star who can average 20 points and 10 rebounds per night. However, last night, NBC Sports Boston reiterated current Oklahoma City Thunder Head Coach and Horford’s former coach at Florida, Billy Donovan saying Al could average better statistics, but his team would not win because he would be acting selfish.
While the Celtics don’t need Horford to be selfish when everyone is healthy, they could use a selfish Horford when they lose by 19 and Horford puts up single digits in the points column. Furthermore, Anthony Davis is not a good matchup for Horford or anybody in the league.
Horford struggled against the long arms of Davis. Maybe the most troubling part of the loss to the Pelicans was Horford’s four assists. He needs to be a point-forward, especially when he’s playing with the Celtics role players, like Jayson Tatum. Horford should be giving Tatum every opportunity to score an easy basket in a game where Tatum is a go-to guy on the offensive end.
Horford might never live up to his big contract with the Celtics given his production on the court. I think the league has him labeled correctly as an All Star reserve on his best years.