Last night, before the Boston Celtics lost to the Philadelphia 76ers, the All-Star Game starters were announced. Kyrie Irving was announced as one of the Eastern Conference starters, along with team captain Lebron James, DeMar DeRozan, Joel Embiid and Giannis Antetokounmpo. Although these guys may not all end up on the same team, the fans did a fine job at selecting the starters for the game.
Within the next few weeks, the reserves for the game will be announced and there is one name that needs to be on that list, and probably should have been a starter. Al Horford, the veteran center for your Boston Celtics, is an All-Star this season even though his stats may not show it.
He doesn’t have to score 30 points in a game or grab 12 rebounds to make a difference in the game, and that’s what makes him so great. Brad Stevens has revamped Horford’s play since signing with the Celtics, and the ten-year veteran is taking his 30s in stride.
Horford is averaging 13 points, seven rebounds and 5 assists per game. He is one of only six players who have those kind of numbers, including Lebron, Western Conference starter DeMarcus Cousins and Russell Westbrook (who also got snubbed, but the guards in the West are really good). Al is also shooting over 50 percent from the field, and 43 percent from behind the arc, which is great for a center in today’s game.
He only attempts an average of 10 shots a game, but the way he plays “point-center” helps the younger guys get good looks on the offensive end, and stay active on the defensive. Being the centerpiece of the best defensive team in the league has helped the Boston Celtics become top dogs in the Eastern Conference. That is plenty enough of a reason to give the man an all-star spot.