Boston Celtic’s star Center Al Horford is helping the C’s reach heights they haven’t seen since the days of Pierce, Garnett and Allen. With their current roster, the Celtics have made great waves in the Eastern conference and look set to secure a top three spot. One of the main reasons for their success has been down to the impact of Point Guard Isaiah Thomas, who has been consistently in the top five in the league this year in points per game and currently averages 28.4 PPG.
Horford held a video press conference where he took questions from the world’s media including me (once again, the only woman on the call – this life is not easy) and spoke about Isaiah Thomas, the influx of European players in the NBA, keeping healthy, being a role model and Celtic’s playoff push.
Horford has spoken of the impact that Thomas has had on the Celtics team: “Isaiah is an All-star no doubt about that. If he keeps playing the way he is, he will definitely be in those discussions about being MVP or competing for championships. Basketball’s a team sport and he knows that and he knows that it’s all about us working in the right way.”
Horford talked about how the influx of European players is developing the NBA: “European players are changing the landscape quickly and in a big way you know. We have a lot of international players specifically European players and they have a lot of fundamentals from the game but also have the ability to play the game in a different way. International ball and FIBA ball are played very differently. It’s a lot of ball movement, a lot of passing and every player is starting to be more and more skilled. That’s challenging a lot of us here to follow suit and play in that way, it’s not good enough as an opposition player to post up and rebound the ball and face up and shoot. You have to be able to pass the ball… handles. It’s making our game better. And over the years we will start seeing more international players.”
Horford is excited to be a part of the Celtics franchise: “It’s really an honour to be part of this franchise, this organisation like you said with this much history. It’s about me coming in here and making an impact and helping us win a championship and that’s what I’m here for, that’s why I decided to move from a situation that was good for me to a better one here with the Celtics.
He also spoke of Celtic’s chances this season: “I think defensively, we’re making strides as a group. We’re not at our peak, we’re not playing our best basketball which is a positive thing and we’re still winning and being competitive but I think by the end of the year if we keep competing and we keep gelling and developing, I feel like we have a realistic chance to compete with anyone.”