Al Horford's first year in Boston resulted in a few statistical quirks when compared to his nine years in Atlanta. His scoring declined to 14.0 points per game, following a four-year trend. His rebounding declined half a board to 6.8 per game, a career low. This was odd, considering Boston's dire need for rebounding help (Boston ranked 27th in team rebounding). Big Al's assists increased dramatically to 5.0 dimes per game, despite a career average of 3.1 dishes. And the center drained 1.3 treys per game, proving his 2015-16 three-point shooting was no fluke. Clearly, Horford adjusted his game to fit Boston's schemes and coaching preferences. Coach Brad Stevens prefers hustling back on defense versus selling out for offensive rebounds. Horford's per game drop in boards were all lost on the offensive side. Coach Stevens likes bigs who can dish from the elbow, and Horford delivered by leading all centers in assists per game. Finally, everyone knows the Celtics like to shoot threes.This season, Horford will further adjust his game to accommodate free agent prize Gordon Hayward. Expect Big Al's scoring opportunities to further decline, though we may continue to see his assists rise. Some believe Stevens might experiment with Horford at power forward and Aron Baynes at center. On the other hand, the Celtics could go small with wings such as rookie Jayson Tatum at power forward. If so, Horford will have a chance to reverse his declining rebounding numbers. At this point in Horford's career, though, the 31-year-old Horford is playing for a shot at the Finals, not glamorous stats.
Horford (rest) will start at center for the Celtics' preseason finale against the Hornets on Wednesday. Horford received the team's previous game off for rest. Coach Brad Stevens will have to seemingly walk a fine line Wednesday between making sure his guys are ready for the regular season opener while making sure they don't risk injury.
Horford will sit out Monday's preseason matchup with the 76ers for rest, Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald reports. Horford joins both Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving on the sidelines for rest, while Marcus Morris will also sit out as he continues to get acclimated to his new team. That being said, Horford will likely be back in the lineup for Wednesday's preseason finale against the Hornets, in what will be a final tune-up prior to the highly-anticipated opener against the Cavaliers on Oct. 17.
Horford recorded seven points (2-6 FG, 2-3 3Pt, 1-2 FT), six rebounds, four assists and two blocks across 16 minutes during Monday's preseason opener against the Hornets. Horford was limited to just 16 minutes, as coach Brad Stevens opted to hold his new "Big 3" out of the second half entirely. Still, it was our first glimpse of how the trio will co-exist on the floor, which yielded fairly encouraging results. Kyrie Irving put up 11 shots, nearly double Horford's six attempts, which is a good indication that Irving is going to fill a similar role Isaiah Thomas played a season ago as the go-to scorer. With the addition of Gordon Hayward as well, that likely means Horford's going to get less scoring opportunities than what he's used to, though his assist numbers could increase.
Horford tallied eight points (4-8 FG), three rebounds and one assist over 27 minutes during Thursday's 135-102 loss to the Cavaliers in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals. The veteran big man turned in his lowest point total of the series and scored in single digits for the first time since Game 2 of the first-round series versus the Bulls. The reduced output was essentially explained by the fact that Horford played just 27 minutes equaling his low-water mark in playing time during the postseason. The 30-year-old had an up-and-down first season in Boston and finished with averages of 14.0 points, 6.8 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 1.3 blocks over 68 games. Notably, he shot a career-low 47.3 percent, while his scoring average was his lowest since his rookie 2007-08 campaign.
Horford supplied 16 points (7-18 FG, 2-6 3Pt), six assists, two rebounds and one steal across 36 minutes in Sunday's 111-108 Game 3 win in Cleveland. Horford stat line should have included one extra trey, as he drained a key triple late in the fourth, but the refs incorrectly called it a two. This marks the second game of the playoffs where Big Al gathered only two boards, but his dimes, low turnovers (1) and solid defense made up for the lack of rebounds. Boston hopes to even the series on Tuesday night at Cleveland. Sunday's win guarantees the series will return to Boston for at least one more game.
Last 7 Games
|3 Year Avg||75||476||50.7||62||34.8||106||78.5||1119||14.92||2274|