Boston Celtics center Al Horford (42) dribbles the ball down court during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Washington Wizards, Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2021, in Boston. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Former Gator Al Hortford Trying to Turn Around Celtics Amid Slow Start

Al Horford is in his 15th year in the NBA as he returns to the Boston Celtics after a year in Philadelphia and Oklahoma City respectively. The veteran center has started off the year averaging 13.5 pts and 9.4 boards, but the Celtics are still struggling out of the gates at 4-6. Horford talked to the press Monday after the Celtics shootaround.

Defense Wins Championships

As of late the defense has made improvements and Horford talked about what has contributed to their success.

“The biggest thing has been some clarity and an understanding of what we are trying to do.”

Even though Boston has struggled early, Horford is glad they are figuring it out two weeks into the season. This time has been an adjustment for players getting used to Boston’s style of play, Horford states. Going forward, he said it is key to communicate and that will help them play comfortably with each other.

“You have to talk [on defense] and if you don’t you will get exposed.”

Although they are happy where they are at defensively, he said staying consistent is important.

Buying In

After the Celtics blew a 19-point, second-half lead against the Bulls, Horford told his team to embrace the loss and move on.

“As a team, we all need to buy into this together and putting it into perspective was the way to do that.”

With Jaylen Brown’s recent injury, Horford said they have to come closer together as a group to pick up the slack. However, with the age difference between Horford and the younger guys, he has had to bridge the gap to bring the team together. For Horford it’s simple.

“I try to come here, work hard, and lead by example.”

He said this includes treating everyone how he wants to be treated in order to create a positive culture around the team.

The Celtics have started off slow, but thanks to Horford’s leadership, Boston is heading in the right direction. Their next game is Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. at home against the Toronto Raptors.

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