Al Horford on Saturday got the start in the Celtics’ frontcourt alongside Jayson Tatum and Robert Williams as Boston edged the Toronto Raptors, 113-111.
The veteran big added 16 points, three rebounds and two assists in 24 minutes on the floor. The start came days after he came off of the bench in Boston’s first preseason game, a 98-97 victory over the Orlando Magic. In Monday’s opener, he was good for five points and seven boards in 20 minutes.
With one game off of the bench and another as a starter, does Horford have a preference when it comes to when he hits the floor?
“For me as a competitor, I want to be in a position that I’m playing when it matters most,” Horford said via Zoom following Saturday’s win. “I do like to start. That’s just the reality. As a competitor I try to feel like I contribute and be a great asset.”
Celtics coach Ime Udoka hasn’t locked Horford into the starting lineup yet, but he has been teasing the double-big lineup that took the floor Saturday all offseason. At the end of September, he said he valued the Celtics’ versatility.
Based on Saturday’s results, you have to imagine that there’s at least some room for this lineup — with Horford at the center of it — to work.