25 March, 2023

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Celtics continue to benefit from Al Horford’s “Massive” Adjustment


Al Horford contributed throughout the off-season to the Boston Celtics’ ability to stay productive, and it paid off once again during Wednesday night’s victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Horford gave the Celtics a much-needed boost as they looked to bounce back from their dismal performance against the New York Knicks on Monday. The 36-year-old made each of his first six 3-point shots, which is a career-high for him in his 16-year career, thanks to his summer concentration on outside shooting, which he’s demonstrated all season.

Horford then recorded the Celtics’ sixth double-double of the season, with 23 points and 11 rebounds in only 33 minutes. Head coach Joe Mazzulla took note of the contribution as well as Horford’s summer resolve.

After the game, Mazzulla said, “It’s huge. This year, he did a fantastic job of spotting coverage and screening. Then he popped and fired it after seeing the coverage (the Cavs were in). He gained an edge when they attempted to swap him a second time. He’s always looking for little tweaks to his strategy.

During the majority of Horford’s career, particularly during his best years with the Atlanta Hawks, the post accounted for the majority of his offensive output. Horford has depended on outside shooting more than ever before at this stage of his career, averaging five 3-pointers per game, which is his highest in a single season.

In February, he attempted 5.4 shots on average from beyond the arc, and he was successful 46.5% of the time. Horford is shooting 44% this season, which is his greatest percentage in 11 seasons, after the home victory.

“I believe that when we make the correct plays and we’re moving (the ball) like that, it opens the floor for everyone,” Horford said, via NBC Sports Boston footage. And I’m stepping up to take men who are searching for me.

In their victory over the Cavaliers (117-113), the C’s avoided being swept in the season series. Boston will next get ready for its matchup with the Brooklyn Nets on Friday in an effort to go back in the winning column. The TD Garden will host the opening tip at 7:30 p.m. EDT.

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