Point-center Al Horford dishes out career-high 11 assists vs. Suns
Honestly! Is there anything Al Horford can't do? He plays the center position and does nicely at the power forward spot. Since coming to Boston, he has also played point-center quite a bit, bringing the ball up court and getting the ball to teammates in the right spots. Last season, he averaged 5.0 assists per game, and is dishing out 5.1 APG this year. Yesterday in a victory against the Phoenix Suns he had a career-high 11 assists. Al and DeMarcus Cousins are tied for most assists by a center thus far this season.
5 10-assist games before today.
Double-figure assists four times now in 90 games with Boston.
I took Sean Grande's tweet a bit further. There are only two players in the NBA notching more than 13 points, six rebounds and five assists while shooting better than 50% from the floor and 40% on threes. Those two are Al Horford and Lebron James. If we up the minimum boards to eight, Al sits alone at the top. Here is Scott Souza of the MetroWest Daily News on Horford's versatility:
Al Horford has played his share of point-center for the Celtics in his two seasons in Boston. He’s playing it with increased frequency this season as brings the ball up the court while Kyrie Irving plays off the ball to a devastating effect.
“The way the offense is set up,” said Horford, who added 16 points on 6-for-10 shooting and five rebounds, “the big guys, we have the ball a lot of the time. I have the luxury to hand it off to Kyrie, and guys who are just knocking down shots left and right.”
“I’ve always been comfortable with that,” Horford said. “At Florida, with Coach [Billy] Donovan, we would do that. Joakim [Noah] and I would do that just to break the press. He always gave us that freedom. In high school, I used to do it and my coach hated it. He was one of those old-school coaches [who thought] no big should handle the ball.
“When I don’t have to bring the ball up he’s able to initiate our offense,” Irving said. “It conserves some energy on my end.”
CelticsLife's Justin Quinn posted a video/article on the question of the Average Al versus the Outstanding Al that is worth looking at. One of the problems with doing everything well is that no single statistic stands out. You have to look at the whole picture, and it becomes clear that we have Awesome Al on our team, and we are damn glad that he is here.