A lot of you agree that the Celtics biggest loss this offseason was Al Horford. Hard to argue. What he does on both ends of the floor goes unnoticed/under-appreciated.
Defensively he was the quarterback of the defense. He was a perfect fit for Brad Stevens’ scheme: a big that could switch onto different types of wings and guards. Boston had an above-average defense for the past few years in part because of Horford’s versatility.
Meanwhile offensively he did all the things you would want a player to do in this modern NBA. He could space the floor and knock down open three’s. He was one of the best passing bigs in the entire league. At one point two seasons ago Stevens tried him out at “point center”.
Draymond Green often gets credit for being the best “Swiss Army Knife” in the league; a player that can do a little bit of everything well. However, Al is also high atop that list (somewhere near Marcus Smart).
The new 76er unfortunately has plenty of opportunity to torture his former employer.
How is Horford’s departure different?
It’s really not. But you’re hatred for LeBron is blocking you from seeing the truth. And that’s okay.
LeBron James had many battles with the Paul Pierce-Kevin Garnett-Ray Allen Celtics. Whether he was a Cavalier or Heatle did not matter: His teams stood in the way of the Boston Celtics competing for a NBA title. Ray Allen leaving for THAT team FELT more bone-crushing, but I assure you it’s not.
It’s well reported that Danny Ainge tried to trade Ray multiple times throughout his Celtics tenure. Obviously, that rubbed Allen the wrong way. He bolted to get a better chance at a ring (which, by the way, he got).
Al leaving Boston does not hurt as much because of how the public perceives the 76ers as less as a threat. The Celtics have handled Philadelphia in the regular season and postseason primarily BECAUSE they had the former Florida Gator. Now that he’s joined them the Sixers ceiling morphs into legit contender.
However, he is worthy of your applause. He was a fantastic teammate, a good on-floor/off-the-floor presence, and added to the Celtics culture in a positive way.
You know who else fits this description? Ray Allen.
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23:35 Early schedule dissection
33:00 Kyrie will be BAFFLED by how much anger there is against him in Boston
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