Al Horford says Celtics stars still feeling each other out offensively

Al Horford says Celtics stars still feeling each other out offensively

NEWPORT, R.I. – Kyrie Irving averaged 25-plus points per game as LeBron James’ wing man last season. Gordon Hayward pumped in 20-plus a night in leading a revitalized Utah Jazz team to the second round of the playoffs last season. 

And then there’s Al Horford who does a little bit of everything offensively that collectively adds up to a lot of wins for whatever team he suits up for. 

With so much talent offensively, scoring will be a breeze, right? 

“I know people can say, ‘you’ve played with them over the years’ or, ‘you’ve played against them over the years’ and things like that,” Horford told CSNNE.com. “But it’s not the same when you try to work together and figure things out. So really getting to know these guys, figuring out what they like, their spots on the court. It’s only five practices, but you start to get a sense of how they want to play.”

Having an offense that’s functioning at a high level involves many players, including Horford who will at times initiate the Celtics’ offense out of the post. 

Last season, the Celtics ranked among the NBA’s leaders in a number of offensive categories. 

When it came to scoring, Boston’s 108.0 points per game ranked seventh in the NBA. Boston’s higher-than-usual point production was fueled in large part by the Celtics’ 3-point shooting with Boston being ranked third in both 3-point field goals made (12.0) and attempted (33.4).

One of the big keys to Boston offensively this season will be Horford.

At 6-foot-10, Horford has the size to play center which he will at times this season. But he shoots the ball well enough to where you can’t just leave him open beyond the 3-point line. And while last season his job was to primarily seal off his defender and allow the guards to swoop in for rebounds, he knows that Boston will need him to be more of a rebounder for them this season. 

“One of my things is always leading by example,” Horford said. “Making sure that I’m helping the guys in any way I can so they feel comfortable in the offense. It’s forcing us to be more vocal on the offensive end. It gets us talking; it gets us more engaged and it’s a good habit to start building. Sometimes when you are playing, you lose all that once you get into games. That’s one of the things we need to do, keep talking with each other and continue to play through mistakes.”

CELTICS TALK PODCAST: Robert Williams' college coach Billy Kennedy discusses the C's draft pick

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CELTICS TALK PODCAST: Robert Williams' college coach Billy Kennedy discusses the C's draft pick

Kyle Draper and A. Sherrod Blakely bring you the latest in Celtics and NBA news in this episode of the Celtics Talk Podcast...

1:40 - The Celtics select Robert Williams with the 27th overall pick. Draper and Blakely discuss why he was still on the board and if the reward will outweigh the risk.

5:15 - Blakely says that a comparison to Roger Williams could be Clint Capela, with maybe a chance to be even better. Also, a discussion about why the Celtics did not move up in the draft.

8:27 - 18:18 - Kyle Draper and A. Sherrod Blakely are joined by Texas A&M head basketball coach Billy Kennedy. Kennedy describes the potential he sees in Robert Williams, if he thought he would go higher in the draft, and what part of his game he will need to improve in the NBA.

18:53 - All eyes will be on Roger Williams during the Celtics summer league. What will he be able to bring to the Celtics?

20:04 - Would you want the Celtics to sign Dwight Howard? Or would you rather have Aron Baynes return to Boston?

26:02 - The Spurs are not going to be able to get full value for Kawhi Leonard and how it's looking less and less likely that the Celtics will trade for Leonard.



Grande: Celtics drafting of Williams a very Spurs-like move

Grande: Celtics drafting of Williams a very Spurs-like move

Are the Boston Celtics turning into the San Antonio Spurs?

Appearing Friday morning on "Toucher & Rich" on 98.5 The Sports Hub, long-time Celtics radio play-by-play announcer Sean Grande said that drafting Texas A&M center Robert Williams -- once speculated as a potential lottery pick -- late in the first round was a play straight out of the Spurs' playbook.

"With the caveat that every team pretty much wakes up this morning and says ‘Wow, we nailed it’, it’s hard to imagine the Celtics could do better," Grande said. "I don’t want to say they’ve become the Spurs, but this is what the Spurs, picking every year in this spot, would do. You wake up the next day, and say, ‘Wow, how did the Spurs get a really good player? How’d they get a player they weren’t supposed to get late in the first round?’"

And the Celtics have their own discipline to thank for this, Grande added.

"I think the key to this draft, wasn’t it really, was to not overreact, not to get involved in all the crazy, and the Celtics are exactly where they wanted to be 24 hours later," he said.