Al Horford Evaluates Celtics Head Coach’s Progress After 14 Games
Despite the ascension of rising All-Stars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, one of the many flaws of the 2020-21 Boston Celtics team was its lack of true identity.
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Last season, Boston didn’t have much to fall back on outside of monster scoring performances from one or both of them.
‘That’s Our Identity,’ Al Horford says of the Celtics’ defense.
However, this season, the Celtics are under new management, including first-time head coach Ime Udoka, whose inherited characteristics are infusing into the team’s newfound defensive approach, and the team is beginning to adapt, so far.
Horford said after Monday’s 98-92 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers, “We’ve been building it and I feel like that’s our identity; a tough defensive team.”
“We’re going to make it difficult for people, and I think that has to be our identity because it’ll put us in a position to win games night after night.”
Boston’s defense allowed only 92.5 points per game in five of their last seven games, a vast improvement over their season average of 106.1 points per game, according to Teamrankings.com.
“I think we all had to play a different way,” Horford said of the Celtics’ transition to a new defense.
“I used to play more at the five-position, then at the top of the key, and so on.”
I was just so proud of Enes for being able to come in and give us some quality time when we needed it the most.
Just give him credit for staying prepared and doing everything correctly, because he was given an opportunity tonight.
So that made me happy.”
Is Horford seeing progress in his new head coach after a month with the Celtics?
Horford replied, “Definitely.”
“I’m reading the game as it unfolds and figuring out how he wants us to play.”
We’ve made progress on defense, and I believe we’ll continue to improve.
On offense, he is constantly emphasizing how he wants us to be and play.
Playing with more pace and moving the ball a little more in the second half tonight; it’s the way that…
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