Monday, March 30, 2020

Celtics fans remember Al Horford as a potent defender and effective facilitator. Those numbers are lagging for him in 76’ers preseason.

Celtics fans remember Al Horford’s strong defense and accurate passing. In three preseason games with the Philadephia 76’ers, Al Horford is not looking quite like himself. His scoring is still there, as is his rebounding. But his defensive and assist numbers are down from his last season in Boston. Al comes in fifth on his present team in points (10.0 PPG) and rebounds (5.0 RPG). But he is ranked eighth on the team in assists (1.3 APG) and 6th in Defensive rating. As a comparison, the Celtics Enes Kanter – never applauded for his defense – is ranked 53rd in Defensive Rating in the League for preseason play, while Al is ranked 54th, one place behind Kanter- just a bit of irony.

 

With the Celtics in the 2018-19 season, Horford averaged 29.0 MPG, 13.6 PPG, 6.7 RPG and 4.2 APG.  He is not in the top-5 on the 76’ers for Player Efficiency Rating, Offensive Rating, Defensive Rating, Effective Field Goal Percentage or Assist Percentage. It is only preseason, but what happened?


Maybe nothing! Exhibition is not the real thing. He is on a new team and it takes a while to acclimate to a new environment. Al’s defensive and passing skills don’t suddenly disappear. Or maybe on the Philadelphia 76’ers they do go away. My take on this is that Horford fits almost anywhere – on any NBA team. He should find his way soon. But he has become part of “The Process”, and he may find that it’s a bad mix, and it won’t work. Another take by some may be that Al wasn’t that good to begin with. What do you think?


Follow Tom at @CelticsSentinel, @_Celtics_Center and Facebook

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