Al Horford Calls Out Reporter Ahead of Celtics-Sixers Game 3

Al Horford, Boston Celtics

Getty Al Horford of the Boston Celtics talks with head coach Joe Mazzulla during the first half against the Golden State Warriors.

Veteran big man Al Horford has been a force to be reckoned with for the Boston Celtics throughout the 2022-23 campaign and put forth one of the most efficient scoring campaigns of his career during the regular season. However, eight games into the playoffs, his shooting stroke has seemingly fallen off quite a bit.

When asked what has been the biggest reason for his lacking conversion rate, Horford seemed confident in his ability to work through the shooting rut, noting that “even throughout the season I went through ups and downs” and that it’s “just a part of it when you’re an elite shooter.”

This latter comment drew laughs from a reporter in attendance, to which the big man jokingly clapped back by questioning their reasoning behind the response.

“You’re laughing? You don’t think I’m an elite shooter,” Al Horford jokingly asked. “My numbers don’t support it? You know, we go through walls so [I’m] just staying confident and ready to go.”

Al Horford’s claims of being an “elite shooter” certainly have merit, as he finished off the season ranked second in the entire association in 3-point percentage, converting at a 44.6% clip.

However, in the postseason, his long-distance shooting percentage has dipped to a lowly 29.7%.

Marcus Smart Praises Joe Mazzulla After Celtics Win Game 2

Despite being on the receiving end of substantial criticism from the Celtics fanbase and media throughout this year’s postseason, head coach Joe Mazzulla recently was praised by point guard Marcus Smart for his efforts throughout his first season holding the clipboard in Boston.

“I’m proud of him,” Marcus Smart said following Boston’s Game 2 win. “We expect to be perfect sometimes, and we forget this is his first year in this spot with the reins, and he’s doing a phenomenal job at it. He’s doing a great job. But we’ve got to relax and let him learn as well. He understands; he has his staff there, they’re talking, and they’re going to make the right adjustments.”

Despite it being his first season serving as a head coach in the NBA, Joe Mazzulla still guided the Celtics to the second-best record in the entire league at 57-25 and has them participating in their second-consecutive Eastern Conference Semifinals.

Marcus Smart Confident in Celtics Moving Forward

In a recent interview with Heavy on Sports’ Steve Bulpett, Marcus Smart praised his team’s ability to adjust on the fly, particularly highlighting the changes Joe Mazzulla and his teammates made between Game 1 and Game 2 against the Philadelphia 76ers.

In his discussion with Bulpett, the veteran would specifically note how he expects the Celtics to continue adjusting throughout the postseason when need be.

“We’re human, and it’s not going to be perfect,” Smart said. “We’re playing against some great teams, great players. It’s the playoffs. And in the playoffs, we all know it’s about adjustments. It’s about adapting. You know, last game they came out and they had a game plan. They executed and they won. This we came out, we had a game plan we had to adapt to their game plan, and we won. So it’s all about adapting and making the right changes.”

Smart, the recipient of the 2023 NBA Hustle Award, has continued to serve as an integral part of this Celtics rotation throughout this year’s postseason.

Logging 31 minutes a night, the point guard is posting solid per-game averages of 11.5 points, 3.1 rebounds, and 6.3 assists per game while shooting 41.5% from the field and 33.6% from 3-point range and has sported a plus-minus rating of +15 throughout eight games played.

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