Al Horford’s potential decline in his age-37 season in 2023-24 is a “legitimate concern” for the Boston Celtics according to the staff of Celtics Wire — who had many questions that were explored during the “How Bout Them Celtics!” podcast.
“Ahead of the Boston Celtics’ 2023-24 campaign in the pursuit of the 2024 NBA title, some league analysts are concerned about how well veteran big man Al Horford will play this coming season,” Celtics wire wrote. “With the Florida alum now entering into his age 37 season after showing the first real signs of father time impacting his game during Boston’s 2022-23 campaign, it’s a legitimate concern for a ball club with designs on a banner.”
Horford, despite having his scoring total reach career-low totals during the 2022-23 regular season, served an all-important role for the Cs despite the results while he was in that position…
Al Horford served as player-coach for the Boston Celtics during Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals
Bill Simmons pointed out on the May 30 edition of “The Bill Simmons Podcast” that it was Horford who was serving in the coaching role during timeouts instead of Joe Mazzulla during Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
“(Horford) was coaching the team,” Simmons said while discussing Horford with his father (h/t Basketball Network). “You were telling me as this was happening, and I didn’t fully realize it. They call timeouts, and Horford sits on the coach’s chair and coaches for like two minutes, as Joe is with his four assistant coaches that we found in Store 24. What the hell? I didn’t recognize any of these assistant coaches. … Al Horford’s there coaching. And then sometimes [Marcus] Smart will come in, and he’s coaching. And Joe comes back with like 20 seconds left in the timeout.”
Marcus Smart is gone, but Horford’s leadership is still a calming presence in a locker room that has done a lot of changing under Brad Stevens’ front office reign; including the reintroduction of No. 42 himself during the 2021 offseason.