Isaiah Thomas understandably can’t wait to play with Al Horford.
Thomas told CSNNE on Saturday that he expects Horford to help him and the Boston Celtics meet heightened expectations for the 2016-17 season and beyond. Horford joined the Celtics from the Atalanta Hawks in July as a high-profile, free-agent signing on a four-year, $113 million contract, and many see the acquisition of a four-time All-Star as a coup for Boston.
Thomas averaged a team-high 22 points per game last season — seven more than Avery Bradley, the Celtics’ second-highest scorer. While Horford has averaged a modest 14 points per game during his nine-year NBA career, Thomas said the big man’s presence will help the Celtics’ offense become better rounded than it has been in recent seasons.
?It?s only going to help,” Thomas said of Boston’s addition of Horford, per CSNNE. “That?s what we need, other guys that can put the ball in the basket, other guys that can do a variety of different things, and he?s one of those guys. The attention will go off me a little bit with having Al Horford on our team. I?m just ready for the opportunity to get to know him and get going and try to get our games to gel with each other.?
The Celtics also signed Gerald Green and drafted Jaylen Brown and a number of other talented young players since the end of last season.
The Celtics hope the newcomers will quickly integrate themselves. By doing so, they’ll increase Boston’s chances of becoming an Eastern Conference power and improving on the first-round playoff exits the team has suffered the last two seasons.
Thomas, Horford and the new-look Celtics will open their regular season Oct. 26. If the Celtics put on a good show that night and repeat good performances in the following days, weeks and months, the surge in excitement surrounding the team will have been justified.
Thumbnail photo via Jason Getz/USA TODAY Sports Images