Al Horford will have an interesting encounter during his first postseason series as a member of the Philadelphia 76ers as it will come against his former team — the Boston Celtics.
The Eastern Conference’s third-seeded Celtics will take on the sixth-seeded Sixers in the first-round of the NBA Playoffs with the series set to begin Monday at 6:30 p.m. ET.
“Starting alongside (Joel) Embiid the last few games I’ve watched, Al’s an excellent player. Al knows how to play, an excellent player at both ends,” head coach Brad Stevens said after the Celtics loss to the Washington Wizards on Thursday, per MassLive.
“He understands what they’re trying to accomplish as a team. Obviously had great regular season and playoff moments for us. We obviously have the utmost respect for him and understand all the things he brings to the table,” Stevens added.
Horford arguably was the team’s nucleus during their postseason runs, and his mindset had an impact on former teammate Semi Ojeleye.
“Watching Al for the last couple of years was great,” Ojeleye said. “Playing against him is going to be good as well. We have to be ready. We know he’s a high-caliber player who can hurt you in the post or from the outside, so we have to prepare for him especially. He’s a big part of their team, so we have to know and be aware that he’s going to be involved in a lot of what they’re doing.”
While the Celtics will have to keep Horford at bay, they’ll benefit from Philadelphia being without guard Ben Simmons.