Al Horford embracing the pressure entering 2022-23 Celtics season


Horford embracing the pressure entering new Celtics season originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Al Horford has a lot on his plate heading into the much-anticipated 2022-23 Boston Celtics campaign.

The veteran big man is the elder statesman on a young C's squad led by a 34-year-old interim head coach in Joe Mazzulla. Entering his age 36 season, Horford will be leaned on for his leadership even more than in previous years.

Forsberg: Can Blake Griffin actually help the Celtics?

There is no shortage of adversity in Boston's locker room with less than one month until Opening Night. In an exclusive 1-on-1 with our Chris Forsberg, Horford discussed the need for the team to keep its focus on basketball following the suspension of Ime Udoka.

"Even when I was driving over here, I was just thinking. I'm like, 'Well, all summer you've been waiting on getting to this point, getting to the start of the season. It wasn't like we planned it, but now that we're here we've gotta get to it," he said.

 Celtics Talk: Celtics sign Blake Griffin to one-year deal, Nick Friedell gives Nets' perspective on Griffin | Listen & Subscribe | Watch on YouTube

Horford's presence was a major difference-maker during the Celtics' NBA Finals run. After averaging 10.2 points and 7.7 rebounds through 69 regular-season games, the five-time All-Star propelled the C's through the postseason with 12.0 points and 9.3 rebounds per game.

As memorable of a season it was, Horford hopes even better days are ahead.

"Sharing all those moments was very special. It was as (much) fun as I've had since I've been in this league," Horford said. "Now, it's for us to take that other step. So as a group I'm really excited for us to see how we're going to come together and make that happen."

Not only will Horford have to step up as a leader, he'll be counted on to be productive on the court while Robert Williams misses time to begin the season. Williams is expected to be sidelined until late November/early December after undergoing another knee procedure, leaving Horford as one of the only reliable big men on the roster.

He's looking forward to the challenge.

"Is there more pressure on me? Probably. But it's something that I kind of embrace and I'm excited about."

The Celtics will begin their preseason on Sunday vs. the Charlotte Hornets. They'll open the regular season on Oct. 18 vs. the Philadelphia 76ers at TD Garden.


More Related News

3 players who Sixers should look into trading for in 2022-23 season
3 players who Sixers should look into trading for in 2022-23 season

Here are 3 players the Philadelphia 76ers should look into trading for in the 2022-23 season.

Celtics' Marcus Smart questionable for Sunday vs. Nets

The Boston Celtics have listed veteran guard Marcus Smart as questionable for Sunday's game vs. the Brooklyn Nets.

Tobias Harris discusses recovery illness, Sixers now having time off
Tobias Harris discusses recovery illness, Sixers now having time off

Tobias Harris discusses his illness recovery for the Philadelphia 76ers as they get set to have a couple of days off.

Whitmore sparks Villanova past Oklahoma in fantastic debut
Whitmore sparks Villanova past Oklahoma in fantastic debut

PHILADELPHIA (AP) Cam Whitmore only touched a basketball a few times over seven weeks because of a broken thumb that delayed the start of his career that already seemed set as a brief one at Villanova. Once he got his shot, Whitmore used his size, athleticism and skill that made him one of the top recruits out of high school to spark a Wildcats team in sore need of his intangibles. Whitmore had seven points, three rebounds and three steals over 20 minutes in his debut and Caleb Daniels scored 22 points to lead Villanova to a 70-66 win over Oklahoma on Saturday in the first game with former Wildcats coach Jay Wright in the broadcast booth.

NBA, Celtics Twitter react to Boston
NBA, Celtics Twitter react to Boston's 120-116 overtime loss to Miami

In some ways, much of what plagued the Celtics in the latter rounds of the 2022 NBA Playoffs returned.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply


Top News: Basketball