Celtics’ Al Horford Sounds Off on Load Management, ‘I’m Not Opposed’

Al Horford

Getty Al Horford #42, Boston Celtics

Al Horford came into the new NBA season at 36 years old, which puts him among the oldest active players currently in the NBA. The only players currently playing in the league who are older than the Boston Celtics‘ center – this excludes those who are currently free agents – are Udonis Haslem, Andre Iguodala, LeBron James, P.J. Tucker, Chris Paul, Taj Gibson, Kyle Lowry, George Hill, Goran Dragic, and Garrett Temple.

With his old age for an active NBA player, there had been reports that the Celtics plan to decrease Horford’s minutes. According to The Athletic’s Jared Weiss, the Celtics’ plan coming into the season was to limit Horford’s minutes.

“Al Horford is expected to sit out most back-to-backs and have his minutes limited even further next season, according to team sources,” Weiss reported on July 7.

On October 21, Horford got candid with reporters when asked about the prospect of being rested more. While Horford is not against it, he made it clear that he feels good physically.

“I’m not saying I’m completely opposed to sitting out, but I’ll be fine, and I’ll be good to go. I’m being consistent. I’m getting after it. I feel good. I’m being able to get out there and play and doing the things I need to do. It’s all about preparation. It’s a mindset,” Horford said.

VideoVideo related to celtics’ al horford sounds off on load management, ‘i’m not opposed’2022-10-22T05:07:32-04:00

The Celtics will have their first back-to-back when they face the Orlando Magic on October 22 after playing the Miami Heat the night before.

Horford Praises Celtics’ Medical Staff

While talking about the possibility of his minutes decreasing, Horford took the time to praise the Celtics’ medical staff for the work they’ve done with him regarding his health.

“Our medical staff has done a great job with me, managing and feeling things out,” Horford said. “If we feel at any point that we need to reevaluate some things, we do, but honestly, they kept me running all of last year, and this year I don’t expect it to be any different.”

The difference between this year and last year is that the Celtics have started the 2022-23 season without Robert Williams III, as he is rehabbing from arthroscopic surgery on his knee that will keep him out for eight-to-12 weeks. With Williams out, the Celtics will have Horford, Grant Williams, Noah Vonleh, Blake Griffin, and Luke Kornet most likely to take up his minutes.

Two games into the season, Horford played 23 minutes against the Philadelphia 76ers on October 18 and 34 minutes against the Heat on October 21.

Mazzulla Confirms Horford Will Play Against Orlando

During his press conference on October 21, Mazzulla relayed that the Celtics’ plans are to have Horford play against the Magic on October 22. However, Mazzulla clarified that plans could change over time.

“I do anticipate (he’ll play) as of now,” Mazzulla said. “But things can change. We’ll do what’s best to give us the best chance to win but also what’s best for the guys.”

Joe Mazzulla: Plan for Al Horford to play in Celtics vs MagicJoe Mazzulla discussed Al Horford's status entering a back-to-back for the Celtics vs the Heat and Magic, the big man rotation behind him, including Blake Griffin and Noah Vonleh, along with the Malcolm Brogdon addition, new take foul rule and the importance of the east finals win vs the Heat. —————————————– – #celtics #NBA #CelticsCLNS…2022-10-21T22:14:20Z

This press conference took place before the Celtics took on the Heat, so, as Mazzulla said, the plans could change between now and when the Celtics play against the Magic.

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