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We knew Al Horford as a great defender and facilitator - What happened?

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. And he was ranked 184th in Defensive Rating for that season. With regard to Advanced Statistics, 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 may be that Al wasn't that good to begin with. Look for an article by new @CelticsSentinel writer, Jim McIntyre, with that argument.


Follow Tom at @CelticsSentinel, @_Celtics_Center and Facebook

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