Celtics news: Al Horford is ‘OK’ with playing center this season after it’s proven to work during playoffs
Al Horford has said he’s okay with the idea of playing primarily at center this season, Celtics beat writer Scott Souza reports. Horford cites last year’s success in the playoffs while playing with small lineups that featured him as the lone traditional big man as a reason for his acceptance of the role.
#Celtics Al Horford on playing center: It's something I'm OK with. We did it last year in the playoffs and it worked really well as a group.
— Scott Souza (@Scott_Souza) September 27, 2017
Horford might not have much of a choice in terms of wanting to play center. He will have to play significantly more minutes there this year than he did last season by necessity.
Amir Johnson and Kelly Olynyk were able to play that position at times last season and allowed Horford to slide down to power forward. Last year’s first-round pick Ante Zizic was also expected to come over this season after spending last season abroad. But after both Johnson and Olynyk left in free agency and Zizic was included in the Kyrie Irving trade, the Celtics now have only Aron Baynes to back up Horford.
While the Celtics made the conference finals last season with the help of playing smaller lineups, it should be noted that the Celtics still had problems in terms of rebounding whenever they played Horford at center. For all of Horford’s gifts, he just hasn’t been a good enough rebounder over his career to single-handedly take care of that department on his own.
Now that the Celtics will need to play Horford a lot more at center, rebounding could once again be one of the teams’ main weaknesses this season.