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#pounditSaturday, January 28, 2023

Articles tagged: Al Horford

Al Horford’s sister throws shade at Heat

Al Horford's sister Anna take a selfie

Al Horford’s sister Anna is known for sharing controversial opinions on social media, and she is living up to that reputation during the Eastern Conference Finals.

Anna made a bold statement on Twitter during the Boston Celtics’ blowout win over the Miami Heat in Game 2. She essentially said Jimmy Butler is Miami’s whole team.

Obviously, the Heat are more than just one star player. They would not have gotten this deep into the postseason without a complete roster. That said, they will certainly need Butler at his best if they want to beat the Celtics.

Boston dominated the first half in Game 1 on Tuesday night. It wasn’t until Butler turned it on that the Heat came back and eventually cruised to a comfortable win. In Game 2 on Thursday, Butler got off to a slow start. That, in part, allowed the Celtics to jump out to a huge lead and dominate from start to finish.

Anna has already made some impressive observations this postseason. She could end up being right about Butler, too. If the Celtics can limit him the way they did in Game 2, they should have no problem taking care of Miami. If they allow him to score at will the way he did in the second half of Game 1, they will have serious problems.

Celtics get unexpected good news ahead of Game 2 against Heat

Ime Udoka coaching the Celtics

Mar 23, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Celtics head coach Ime Udoka watches from the sideline as they take on the Utah Jazz in the second half at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Celtics have received some good news ahead of their Game 2 Eastern Conference Finals matchup with the Miami Heat.

Al Horford, who missed Game 1 after being placed in COVID-19 protocol, has been cleared to play on Thursday night. There was talk that the veteran big man could potentially miss Game 2 and Game 3, but the Celtics have announced he will play.

It is unclear if Horford tested positive for COVID. ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reported this week that the Celtics were bracing for Horford to miss multiple games. Windhorst said he had gotten the impression that Horford tested positive, which typically means a player is out at least five days.

Horford has been one of Boston’s most important players during their postseason run. The 35-year-old scored 30 points and grabbed 8 rebounds in a big Game 4 win over the Milwaukee Bucks last round. The Celtics lost Game 1 in Miami, but Horford’s return should give them a major boost.

Al Horford could miss first 2 games of conference finals

Al Horford during warmups

Jan 28, 2022; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Boston Celtics center Al Horford (42) prepares for a game against the Atlanta Hawks at State Farm Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Celtics are dealing with unfortunate roster availability issues ahead of Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

Both Al Horford and Marcus Smart are unavailable to play in Game 1 on Tuesday. Smart is out due to a foot sprain, which was a known issue. But the surprising health issue was revealed on Tuesday when the Celtics said Horford was in health and safety protocols.

That information suggests Horford has COVID.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski says the Celtics are preparing for Horford to also miss Thursday’s Game 2 in Miami.

At this point, the Celtics have to hope that Horford will be able to clear protocols in time for Game 3 on Saturday.

Horford has stepped up his game during the postseason. He averaged 13.0 points and 10.4 rebounds per game against the Bucks and became a big success story. Smart had his struggles against Milwaukee, but he is the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year and a key player for the Celtics.

This is a terrible break for Boston ahead of their series against the No. 1-seeded team in the East.

Al Horford has huge incentive in his contract for playoff success

Al Horford during warmups

Jan 28, 2022; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Boston Celtics center Al Horford (42) prepares for a game against the Atlanta Hawks at State Farm Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Al Horford carried the Boston Celtics to a crucial win over the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinal series between the two teams on Monday night. The veteran center is playing some of his best basketball as he tries to capture his first NBA title. If he were able to do that, he would also earn a massive payday.

Next season is the final year of a four-year, $109 million contract Horford signed with the Philadelphia 76ers back in 2019. The first three years and $82.5 million of the deal were guaranteed. Next season, however, Horford is guaranteed only $14.5 million of his $26.5 million salary. The entire $26.5 million would become guaranteed if the Celtics win the NBA Finals.

As ESPN’s Bobby Marks noted four years ago, Horford’s guarantee increases to $19.5 million if his team reaches the Finals. He gets the full amount if Boston wins it all.

Horford has made nearly $250 million during his career. His primary motivation is undoubtedly capturing a ring. An extra $12 million would make the feat that much sweeter.

Considering he will turn 36 this offseason, Horford is unlikely to sign another huge contract. Though, he is still playing at a high level. The five-time All-Star scored 30 points and grabbed eight rebounds in Monday’s 116-108 win. He also posterized Giannis Antetokounmpo with an awesome dunk. If Horford keeps playing like that, he will have a chance to win a ring and cash in on those incentives.

H/T Reddit

Al Horford’s sister sent great tweet during big Game 4 performance

Al Horford looks at Giannis

Al Horford on Monday put together one of the best games of his postseason career, and his sister delivered in the clutch as well.

Horford had 30 points and 8 rebounds in his Boston Celtics’ 116-108 win over the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 4 of their Eastern Conference semifinals series on Monday. He was 11/14 from the field and 5/7 on threes in the win.

His sister Anna noted the moment when Milwaukee was in trouble with her brother. Giannis Antetokounmpo stared down Horford early in the third quarter and got a technical foul for his behavior.

When she saw Al’s reaction, Anna knew her brother was ready for something special.

“This is where the Bucks f*cked up I know that look… He was pissed,” Anna wrote on Twitter.

Giannis got called for a tech for taunting on the play.

Anna was right. Al later got called for a technical foul after dunking on Giannis in the fourth quarter. He really helped carry the Celtics to a win to tie the series at 2-2.

Al Horford gets called for makeup tech after big dunk around Giannis

Al Horford hits Giannis

Al Horford was called for a bad technical foul seemingly as a makeup call for what happened a quarter earlier.

Giannis Antetokounmpo was called for a technical foul for “taunting” after staring down Horford following a dunk in the third quarter of Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinals between his Milwaukee Bucks and the Boston Celtics (video here).

Early in the fourth quarter, Horford took the ball and drove towards the basket, beating Giannis. He jammed it home for a slam dunk and hit Giannis with an accidental elbow on his way down.

That didn’t deserve a tech call, just as Giannis’ staredown didn’t deserve a tech either. Giannis was called for a shooting foul.

Jrue Holiday made the free throw after the tech to give Milwaukee an 81-80 lead. Horford made his free throw for the shooting foul to tie it at 81. Boston won the game 116-108 to even the series at 2-2.

Al Horford barely missed tying Game 3 with tip-in at buzzer

Al Horford tips a ball

The Milwaukee Bucks escaped with a 103-101 win over the Boston Celtics in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference semifinals series, and the game nearly went to overtime.

Marcus Smart was at the free throw line with 4.6 seconds left in the game. He made his first attempt to make it a two-point game at 103-101. Then he missed his second attempt intentionally to create an opportunity for his team to tie it. They nearly did.

Smart got his own rebound but missed a putback attempt. Then Robert Williams missed a tip-in attempt. Finally, Al Horford made his tip-in, but it came in just after the buzzer.

This image shows just how close Horford was to tying the game and sending it to overtime.

That’s a bummer for Boston, which now trails in the series 2-1.

Game 4 will be on Monday night in Milwaukee.

Report: Celtics looking to trade one of their biggest names

Brad Stevens

Rev up those fryers because the Boston Celtics are open for business.

Jared Weiss of The Athletic reported on Wednesday that the Celtics are exploring a trade of big man Al Horford as they pursue another center.

A five-time All-Star and ex-All-NBA selection, Horford is one of the biggest names on Boston’s roster. But he is now 35 years old and is averaging just 10.8 points per game this season, Horford’s lowest since his rookie year. Weiss notes that Horford, though he has been an great defender for the Celtics, has failed to find a consistent offensive role as the team is not featuring him in the pick-and-roll game.

Horford is on his second stint in Boston with the Celtics having given up a first-round draft pick to reacquire him last offseason. He is under contract for $26.5 million next season but only about half of that is guaranteed.

The Celtics are back above .500, but that may not be enough to even make the play-in tournament in the East. A Horford trade would be a fairly major shake-up and is the latest potential move the team is rumored to be eyeing.

Al Horford’s sister is so pumped about her brother returning to Celtics

Anna Horford

Few people are more excited about Al Horford returning to the Boston Celtics than his sister Anna.

Immediately after the news went public that Horford was being traded back to the Celtics, Anna Horford began to celebrate.

Al played in Boston from 2016-2019 and made one All-Star team. Then he shockingly left the team to sign with the 76ers. His move to Philly did not work out well, so they traded him to the Thunder. And now he is back in Boston.

The Celtics gave up Kemba Walker and a first-round pick in the trade and got back Moses Brown and a future second-rounder.

Al Horford brings back great old tweet after trade to Celtics

Al Horford

Al Horford became a member of the Boston Celtics on Friday for the second time in less than five years, and the veteran big man didn’t bother coming up with a new way to confirm the big news.

When Horford signed with the Celtics as a free agent back in 2016, he announced his decision by tweeting “Celtic Pride!!!!” with 18 four-leaf clover emojis — one representing each of Boston’s NBA titles.

After the Oklahoma City Thunder traded him to the Celtics on Friday, Horford retweeted his own tweet from July 2016. He then thanked the Thunder.

Horford was traded to Boston along with second-year center Moses Brown in a deal involving Kemba Walker and draft picks. The 35-year-old spent three seasons with Boston from 2016-2019. He then signed with the Philadelphia 76ers rather than returning to the Celtics, and that move didn’t pan out for him. The big man was traded to Oklahoma City after just one season in Philly. He averaged 14.2 points and 6.7 rebounds per game this season.

Photo: Flickr/All-Pro Reels via cc-by-sa 2.0