Video: Al Horford says team chemistry hasn't missed a beat since last season
Speaking after practice today, the Boston Celtics veteran center says that once the Celtics hit their stride last winter they had great chemistry, and things picked up in training camp where they left off last June.
While the Ime Udoka suspension and mystery surrounding that decision was shocking at first to the players, segueing to Joe Mazzulla as interim coach who's running the same system as Udoka was seamless.
The challenge for this year's Celtics is if they go through a stretch of poor games, how they will respond. Will they still play as one? Or will they revert to older more selfish ways? And of course, how will Coach Mazzulla deal with that situation?
Udoka was famous for telling the Celtics players when they weren't sharing the ball to "Stop playing like assholes." Are the Celtics players now self aware enough to police themselves? Will Mazzulla need to use that line?
At the end of the day, the Celtics losing their coach wasn't the "worst day in Celtics history" as some fans lamented. I mean that's a pretty preposterous statement considering that Len Bias and Reggie Lewis literally died as Celtics.
Al Horford on Boston's chemistry: "I felt like once we jelled together midway through last year, it carried over and when we got back this season, it’s kind of like buddies, like you’re back to school. Everybody’s back hanging out together every day, practicing, going to work." pic.twitter.com/Bmi41FrguP
Losing a coach has the potential to mess up a team, but not like a major injury to let's say Jaylen Brown or something. Gordon Hayward's injury in his first game as a Celtic was a bigger blow than Udoka's suspension. So was Isaiah Thomas' injury.
The Celtics have the talent to win. The key is to be healthy for the playoffs and how high the team's two young stars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown elevate their games this season.