Pregame Post-Ups: Horford Welcomed Back to TD Garden
Thursday, Dec. 12 - 76ers at Celtics
Pregame – Horford Welcomed Back to TD Garden
BOSTON – The Celtics will welcome back a familiar face to TD Garden tonight, as veteran big man Al Horford is set to step into the arena for the first time to see his former team. Horford spent the last three seasons as one of Boston’s centerpieces before joining his current squad, the Philadelphia 76ers, this past offseason.
During those three seasons, Horford made quite an impression upon his coaches and teammates, which Brad Stevens summed up before tip-off.
“Al’s a really good person, and he’s a really good player,” Stevens said. “We won a lot of games with him being a huge, huge focal point of what we do on both ends of the court. It was interesting because I was looking at his stats as I was getting ready for this game, and it’s almost identical when you look at his percentages and his points and his rebounds. He just brings the same thing to the table every day. And I think that says a lot about him. He’s got a consistency about him that everybody talks about, and rightfully so. He’s a great pro, a good person and we’re looking forward to competing against him.”
Unfortunately, there will be no competing against Horford tonight, as he was ruled out just ahead of tip-off due to a left leg injury. Though, he will still be present on the sidelines, so he’ll at least be able to catch up with all of his old friends.
“It’s good to be back here and see some people,” Horford said from inside the visitor's locker room shortly ahead of the matchup. “I just wish I was good to go and play and compete. Besides that, at least I'm able to see a lot of people here and be back here.”
One player who had been looking forward to seeing Horford was Jaylen Brown. The rising wing learned a great deal from Horford during his first three years in the league and stated last night that he couldn’t wait to welcome him back.
“Al came here and contributed, took this team the farthest it’s been (in a long time),” said Brown, who was teammates with Horford throughout his entire Celtics tenure. “I think Al served his time well here. For me, he was a great leader, a great person to carry us every step of the way, so I know I’ll clap for him when they call his name.”
Those words ring true among many within the Celtics organization, who all plan to welcome Horford back tonight with open arms.
- Taylor Snow