The Philadelphia 76ers made several tweaks to their starting lineup this offseason. JJ Redick and Jimmy Butler are out, with Josh Richardson coming over in the Butler sign-and-trade. Tobias Harris is back on a new long-term deal, but the most important addition might have been the acquisition of Al Horford. Sixers owner Josh Harris noted that Horford has been giving Philadelphia fits for years, and he is ready to see the big man torment opponents while playing on his side:
Harris to Al Horford: “I can’t tell you how excited I am to have you here. As a Philly fan, we’d go up to Boston, and you would kill us. So we’re glad you’re on our side. The moment we started talking to Al, we thought it was a great fit.”
— Tim Bontemps (@TimBontemps) July 12, 2019
The 12-year veteran played his last three seasons in a Boston Celtics uniform. Now, Al Horford will swap jerseys and join one of the Celtics’ biggest Eastern Conference rivals.
Last season, Horford put up impressive numbers for a dysfunctional Boston team. He averaged 13.6 points, 6.7 rebounds and 4.2 assists to go along with 1.3 blocks per game. He shot an impressive 53.5 percent from the field and a solid 36.0 percent from 3-land. The big man was a solid second or third option for the Celtics offensively all year, scoring off post-ups with a deadly hook shot as well as pick-and-pops with Kyrie Irving.
Horford’s value is not limited to the offensive end. The big man anchored the Celtics’ defense down low, and he is one of the best low-post defenders in the league. Sixers big man Joel Embiid has notably struggled while going up against the steadfast defender.
Now, Embiid won’t have to worry about Horford’s defense. Al Horford will be working his magic right alongside him in Philly’s starting lineup.
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