It’s no secret that Boston Celtics newcomer Kristaps Porzingis is a special offensive talent.

There’s a reason they call him “Unicorn.”

Porzingis has averaged 19.6 points per game across seven seasons and has seemingly gotten better on the offensive end in recent years. He improved his three-point percentage to 38.5% in 2022-23 and set a career mark in assists per game (2.7). Oh yeah, he’s 7-foot-3.

There’s a ton to say about the overwhelming talent Porzingis possesses, but it doesn’t just come on the offensive end. The 28-year-old has the ability to be an elite defender, which is something his Celtics teammates have been impressed with.

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“I feel like he’s really doing a good job with the attention to detail, especially on the defensive end with us,” Al Horford told Celtics reporter Bobby Krivitsky on Friday. “We’re asking him to do a lot and to cover a lot of things, and already, I feel like he’s having my back, covering different positions on the court.

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“… I’ve been most impressed with — everybody knows his offense. His offense is great. We know he can do a lot of things, but on defense, he’s doing a good job of talking to us, protecting the basket, and really staying active.”

Porzingis’ ability to protect the rim should help the Celtics hold onto the same defensive identity they had with Robert Williams III. There’s no doubt that the former All-Star can help protect the rim and allow Al Horford to play the same brand of basketball he has over the last few seasons. It’s Horford, however, that Porzingis believes is helping him.

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“I absolutely love playing with Al,” Porzingis told Krivitsky. “He’s very experienced and (has) been in all kinds of situations and knows the game so well. There’s a lot to learn from him, and (he’s) just a smart player. There were a few moments where I saw his experience in those situations and how he reacted on the defensive end, and I’m looking forward to having more minutes on the court with him.”

The Celtics likely will take their time finding what lineups work best. Porzingis and Horford will certainly play together, but a lack of depth behind them might necessitate Boston head coach Joe Mazzulla to pick his spots.

The C’s likely aren’t going to roll off 60-plus wins and walk to the No. 1 seed, but early returns are positive for a team hoping to capture Banner 18.

Featured image via Eric Canha/USA TODAY Sports Images