Video: Breaking down Al Horford's struggles defending NBA 4's

There have always been great big men who didn't want to play center. Chris Webber, Kevin Garnett, and Tim Duncan come to mind off the bat. Since joining the league Al Horford has always wanted to play the 4 and not center and while that might have made sense back in the day, he's a center in today's NBA, and he needs to embrace it. Coach Nick of BBall Breakdown, who always does great work. illustrates in his latest video the struggles the Celtics face with Horford at the 4 (Can't use the term "power forward" anymore as I feel like those type of 4's don't exist anymore).

The Celtics already are at a disadvantage defensively with Isaiah at the 1. Horford's inability to guard small ball 4's and stretch 4's create another problem. Coach Nick suggests inserting Kelly Olynyk into the line-up for Amir Johnson (Pretty sure most Celtics fans have suggested this as well. Personally I think Amir gets more criticism then he deserves, but he just doesn't pair well with Horford. They are both centers defensively in today's NBA and playing two at a time doesn't work.

Besides the benefits of Olynyk's game, he would allow Horford to remain at the rim and protect the hoop, instead of getting schooled on the perimeter by quicker 4's. Horford might want to be a "power forward,"but sorry someone needs to tell him he's a center in today's NBA (Can you imagine in the playoffs when the Cavs inevitably go small and put LeBron at the 4, Horford trying to stick him?). Especially as he gets older, Horford has to realize he's a center. It's also why I'm hesitant to add DeMarcus Cousins or another center to the front line with Horford. Both are centers in today's NBA and you can't play two at a time and expect to win.

The C's are looking strong this season, but if they want to get past Toronto and try and give the Cavs some trouble they will eventually need to pair Horford with a more perimeter defending 4. Olynyk would likely work (His defense is underrated, though I don't think he's as quick as Coach Nick is giving him credit for). Millsap would work as well, but it doesn't appear that the Celtics are interested in him.