Al Horford looked great in Celtics debut, 'very encouraged' by team's performance

It didn't take long for Al Horford to get involved in last night's game vs the Philadelphia 76ers. After pulling down the opening tip, Horford set a screen at the top of the key for Avery Bradley and buried a long two-point shot after receiving the ball on a pick and pop:

In fact, 3 of his 4 baskets came off of pick and roll plays with either Bradley or Isaiah Thomas. Seeing what we've already envisioned, Horford opening things up for Isaiah and Avery (and everyone else for that matter) on the offensive end was refreshing.

The fluidity the that Celtics' starters had wasn't lost on Horford either, via Jay King of MassLive:

"The first unit, we've struggled all week and that's partly because of me trying to catch along, but I just felt good that we got to play against someone else and got to play a game finally," Horford said. "I think I'm starting to get familiar with the concepts with the plays and it's something I have to keep working on. I have to catch up. I have to be better for the team, but I'm very encouraged from our team, what I saw tonight."

If he was trying to catch along all week, it would seem he's up speed. The 1st-team offense flowed like a cohesive unit that's played together for years. Although, coach Brad Stevens noted after the game that Horford has looked his best the last couple of days:

Celtics fans should be excited about what they saw last night, losing by 3 is completely irrelevant. The brightest spot from the game was seeing firsthand the effects of having a player the caliber of Al Horford anchor the offense:

The lowest plus/minus of any Celtics starter was Amir Johnson at +12. Obviously it's just the 1st preseason game, but that starting five looked solid.

Photo Credit: Daniel Malone - MassLive

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