Al Horford to the Celtics: What does his signing do for the Celtics?
Dominican big man and four-time NBA All-Star Al Horford has spent the last nine seasons playing for the team that drafted him, the Atlanta Hawks. As a member of the Hawks, Horford has lead the team to the playoffs in each of his seasons and was a key player in the 2014-2015 season that notched a record of 60-22 and stole away the first seed from the favorited Cleveland Cavaliers. However in the past three postseasons, Horford has not be able to lead his team past the NBA’s undisputed best, LeBron James as he has swept the Hawks out of the postseason in each of those years. That fact might’ve been one of the factors that has lead Horford to sign with the Celtics. What can this big man do to help a stacked Celtics team?
A natural player at the four position, Horford has spent the most of his time playing in Atlanta at the center position. His strength, speed, and skill around the post make him a lethal scoring threat and he has just recently developed a pretty viable three-point shot. He can pass, is an agile defender and is an incredibly strong rebounder for his size.
His signing with the Celtics provides a strong boost to their already deep front-court but most importantly it provides two things. The first, a bigger and better option in the post than Jared Sullinger; the second, an All-Star veteran to play alongside Isaiah Thomas. Celtics head coach Brad Stevens is set to be one of the next great coaches in the NBA, and the bulk of his game plan is based around team unity. Horford is no stranger to that as he has played the past three seasons under a similar-minded coach in Mike Budenholzer, whose strategies have been compared to the San Antonio Spurs’.
The Celtics add an incredible piece to their already growing number of assets. The Horford signing re-establishes Boston as a free-agent destination; an amazing head-coach, and now two All-Stars as well as budding young talent in Marcus Smart and the recently drafted Jaylen Brown. The C’s have been making big moves ever since the Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett trades, and their rebuild process has been sped up exponentially with the hiring of Brad Stevens and the additions of Jae Crowder, All-Star point guard Isaiah Thomas, and now Al Horford.
With all this budding talent coming together, the Celtics are becoming a team that could challenge James’ Cavaliers in the East for the spot in the NBA Finals. The Horford signing is a big move, and with him, the Celtics move from a bottom-tier seed in the East to a top-four seed contender.