Al Horford’s career started in Atlanta, where he spent nine years in Atlanta and made a career for himself there, but he has seen recent success in Boston in his twilight years.
He played his butt off for the Hawks and respectfully averaged 14 and 9 over those nine years. In the playoffs he put up 13, and 8 while having nine games above 20+ and 24 career double-doubles for the Hawks.
Needless to say Horford became an above average center serving him four all star bids during his tenure and helped Atlanta reach the playoffs eight out of his nine seasons.
Many have speculated that Horford didn’t reach his full potential as a Hawk. While that may look believable, Horford couldn’t thrive in Atlanta. The atmosphere is everything in sports and in Atlanta the fans don’t support their respective teams wholeheartedly.
Also, some rosters that were built around him became toxic. Sharing the court with Josh Smith, Mike Bibby, Joe Johnson, and Marvin Williams. These guys were talented, but lacked a sense of identity and passion for winning. This often led to the Hawks being bounced in the first and second round of the playoffs year after year. For a guy like Horford who puts it all on the line every night he needed to go to a city with history.
That change came when he went to Boston.
Green Runs Deep
As for his time in Boston (Four Years) he averaged 12.7 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 4.1 assists in the regular season. In the playoffs he put up 15.2 points, 8 rebounds. And 4 assists a game. Focusing on this playoff run alone he’s averaging 15.9 ppg (career high), 9.4 rpg, 2.8 apg, 1 bpg, and 1.1 spg.
To dig further in my analysis, Horford has accumulated 17 career playoff double-doubles in four years with Boston, as well as 13 20+ playoff games in his career with three of them coming this year.
Horford is thriving in Boston and many people can’t wrap their head around why. Boston is known for its rich history when it comes to sports. The fans rally behind the players win or lose. The atmosphere is unlike any atmosphere out there. Needless to say Boston fits with Horford’s work ethic.
Numbers wise he’s statically more efficient and better than his time in Atlanta. Mind you he played in Boston in his entire thirties thus far when players are supposed to take a decline. He’s aging like fine wine in Boston.
From a team standpoint the guys, and coaching staff respond very well to him. They look up to him and follow his lead on a day to day basis. Guys like Smart, Brown, and Tatum have all spoken highly of Horford and what his presence brings to the organization. That energy wasn’t present in Atlanta at all.
I’m not at all surprised by Horford’s playoff career high last night with 30 points and going pound for pound with Giannis. He’s a hard worker and will continue to play until the buzzer sounds.
Hawks fan or Celtics fan you have to love Al Horford