Al Horford is on another level, he's the playoff leader in points per play
Al Horford haters where you at?!? Not only has Big Al consistently been the best all-around player on the floor each and every night for the Boston Celtics but he's leading the league in points per play for the entire postseason:
Worth max money? Al Horford is postseason leader in points per play and points + assists via @SynergySST data.— Chris Forsberg (@ESPNForsberg) May 2, 2017
📰: https://t.co/OxQ7M659x5 pic.twitter.com/9piWZROEU5
Horford's 1.27 points per play (factoring both scoring and assists) is a fraction better than MVP candidate Kawhi Leonard, and Al's been an absolute menace combined with Isaiah Thomas scoring 1.67 points per pick-and-roll play. He's coming off arguably his best effort thus far in Sunday's game 1 win over Washington nearly nabbing a triple-double with 20 points, 10 assists, and 9 rebounds while shooting 76.9% (!!!) from the field. He's the first center to drop 20+ points and 10+ assists in the playoffs since The Dream last did it 22 years ago:
Al Horford is the 1st center since Hakeem Olajuwon in 1995 to record 20+ PTS & 10+ ASTS in a #NBAPlayoffs game. pic.twitter.com/jayPLBEl7M— NBA.com/Stats (@nbastats) May 1, 2017
And if that one game isn't a big enough sample for you:
Horford's current playoff averages— Michael Dyer (@Mike_Dyer13) May 1, 2017
Only center to ever average that for a playoff run: Wilt in 1966-67
I've heard that Wilt Chamberlain was pretty good.
Horford is like having a swiss army knife playing center as he can do just about anything you ask him to do on the court at a high level. He's a superb defender and his offensive arsenal makes everyone around him better on that end of the floor. Isaiah talked about Horford's versatility and his high basketball-IQ being so important to everything the Celtics do. Via Chris Forsberg of ESPN:
"There are times throughout the game where I don’t even bring the ball up. We let Al do it," Thomas said. "We know he’s going to make the right play. He has a high basketball IQ. I’ve said it since Day 1: Even if he’s not scoring the ball and even if he’s just out there, he allows everybody to be their best. He spaces the floor. He knows where guys are gonna be on both sides of the floor. He’s a really high-level player."
Horford has really raised his game for the playoffs. His numbers have gone up across the board in the postseason:
Regular Season - 14 points | 47.3 FG% | 35.5 3pt FG% | 6.8 rebounds | 5 assists | +/- 3.2
Playoffs - 16.1 points | 62.7 FG% | 50 3pt FG% | 8.6 rebounds | 7 assists | +/- 6.9
That's pretty remarkable considering Horford is only averaging a little over 1.5 minutes more per game so far in the postseason. His shooting/scoring has been off the charts efficient and his plus/minus has well over doubled. His positive impact is very evident just watching the games, and I'll go out on a limb and say so far the Celtics have gotten every penny they paid for Horford last offseason with this level of play in the playoffs.
Related: I.T. with 33, Big Al gets 21/9/10, Crowder goes for 24 and A.B. scores 18 in big comeback win (videos)
Photo Credit - Brian Babineau/Getty Images
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