Underrated Boston Celtics player No. 2) Al Horford
Al Horford may not be putting up the same numbers that he was during his perennial All-Star days, but that doesn’t mean his impact on the club during his return campaign hasn’t been a key factor to the team’s in-season turnaround.
Though early on in the campaign the 15-year-veteran was viewed by many as somewhat of a liability for the Boston Celtics, specifically in the scoring department where he struggled mightily with efficiency (shot just 44 percent from the field and 29 percent from deep during the first two months of action), since the team started on their post-New Year’s endeavors, slowly but surely his offensive production has managed to inch it’s way closer to his high-end defensive play.
Particularly over the team’s last 19 contests, Horford has had his hand in many facets of the game for the shamrocks, boasting solid all-around averages of 9.4 points, 8.4 rebounds, 2.9 assists, and 1.4 blocks on 46 percent shooting from the floor and 40 percent shooting from deep while also sporting a +12.7 plus-minus rating during this span where they have gone 16-3.
On top of this, since the All-Star break, the big man has seemingly become even more effective in regard to his per-game numbers, averaging 11.8 points, nine boards, 3.3 assists, one steal, and nearly two blocks on an impressive 52 percent shooting from the floor and 43 percent shooting from deep.
The team has gone 6-1 during this stretch, with their lone loss coming during the outing where Horford didn’t even wind up playing.
With him on the floor, the C’s are 37-21 and, without him, they’re a mere 4-6.
Be it due to the fact that he’s gobbling up boards at his highest rate since 2013, is shooting at the second-highest rate of his career from inside the arc (57 percent), or is swatting shots away at a career-high percentage of 4.3, there’s no doubt that Al Horford has been one of the main factors for Boston’s current hot-stretch.