Throughout the regular season, Al Horford was among the best three-point shooters in the NBA.
However, in the few games leading up to the Boston Celtics May 5 win over the Philadelphia 76ers, the veteran big man had struggled to see his shot fall. Things changed during Boston’s game three victory over Philadelphia, though, as Horford racked up 15 points from deep during his 31 minutes of playing time.
“First of all, I just want to give the honor and glory to the lord,” Horford said. “My faith is strong. I’ve been shooting the ball all year, the guys are encouraging me to do it, and sometimes you’re gonna have bad games, and I just stuck with it.”
In 63 regular-season games, Horford averaged 9.8 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 3 assists per game while shooting 47.6% from the field and 44.6% from deep, positioning himself as one of the elite shooters in the NBA.
Malcolm Brogdon Praises Celtics Defense
During his own interview with Abby Chin, Celtics Sixth Man of the Year Malcolm Brogdon discussed Boston’s improved defensive intensity, crediting Joe Mazzulla and the coaching staff for formulating a ‘stellar’ plan to contain the Sixers star duo of James Harden and Joel Embiid.
“Honestly, it started with Jayeln. Jaylen’s picked-up Harden made it difficult the last two games, and it’s changed the whole series,” Brogdon said. “And then, since Embiid’s gotten back, Grant’s been huge. Everybody who’s guarded him has been huge. I think our details, our execution, our plan to guard him, the scouting report that Joe has put together, the coaches, I think, has been stellar defensively.”
The Celtics did a stellar job in limiting the impact of Harden throughout their May 5 contest, holding the 2018 MVP to 16 points, 6 rebounds, and 11 assists on 21.4% shooting from the field and 28.6% shooting from deep, numbers which were a far cry from his dominant game one performance against Boston.
Jaylen Brown Credits Grant Williams’ Impact
A significant turning point in the Celtics series against the Sixers has been the reintegration of Grant Williams into the rotation after he struggled to see the floor during Boston’s first-round contest against the Atlanta Hawks.
“Grant has been great. Grant has been humbled all year long. It’s been tough for him. He’s a tremendous part of our team. We’ve challenged him in different ways, in his maturity level, the ability to play his role, the ability to raise his level and get stops and do what is needed to be done, regardless of his emotions and his feelings, regardless of how he feels in certain situations. You can’t ask for nothing better than that. Grant is a true professional.”
The Celtics will face off against the Sixers on Sunday, May 7, in what will be their fourth encounter of the series, where another win for Boston would put them in complete control of their own destiny.