The Return of a Celtics Veteran Creates a Time Lord-Sized Problem.

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When the Boston Celtics re-signed Al Horford this summer, his actual on-court impact seemed like an afterthought in the deal. The trade that allowed him to return was more about getting rid of Kemba Walker’s multi-year contract. And much of the fanfare surrounding Horford was centered on the happy-go-lucky story of his return home. According to reports out of Celtics training camp, the 35-year-old is suddenly in a position to play a major role in Beantown. When asked about his starting lineup, head coach Ime Udoka said, “We want to look at everything, honestly.” “With the lineups we can start, we believe versatility is an asset for us, but a guy like Al is making a strong case.” ”

Who’d have guessed? Horford’s resemblance to the player who played for the Celtics three years ago feels like the cherry on top of one of Stevens’ best offseason cakes. However, the idea that the 14-year pro could find himself in the starting five on opening night is a Rob Williams-sized conundrum. Horford’s potential starting turn presents the best kind of problem for Udoka.


The Time Lord Cometh

Horford’s potential starting turn presents the best kind of problem for Udoka. On one hand, he now has the option of bringing in a five-time All-Star to lead his frontcourt. On the other hand, there’s Williams, the youngster who energized the pivot down the stretch last season. Williams had seemingly locked up Boston’s starting center spot with his efforts after the 2021 NBA trade deadline, despite the fact that it took him a few years to get a real taste of the apple — and the injury bug keeps rearing its ugly head. When he wasn’t injured, Williams started 13 games for the Celtics, taking over for the outgoing Daniel Theis. He averaged 9.0 along the way. 5 out of ten. 3 rebounds, 3 rebounds, 3 rebounds, 3 rebounds, 3 rebounds One assist and one. In only 23 minutes, I was able to complete 8 blocks. As a first-team player, you’ll get 7 minutes per game. However, even more impressive than his individual line was the measurable positive impact he had while on the floor.

Williams had the team’s best net rating of 9.1 in his post-deadline appearances. The most significant difference was on offense, where the Celtics scored 119 points. When he was on the court, he averaged 1 point per 100 possessions.

Williams was so good that the team decided to sign him to a four-year contract extension worth up to $54 million. Clearly, he is the franchise’s future focal point. Horford appears revitalized and ready to compete, but whether he is the center of the present remains to be seen.

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! Williams Already Bracing for Demotion?


Williams Already Bracing for Demotion? There are valid arguments for both players as starters, but Udoka’s comments aren’t the only thing indicating that a change is on the way. Williams’ comments at Celtics Media Day have only bolstered the theory. Williams mentioned a backup center as someone he would be competing against in 2021-22 while commenting on the bulk he added over the summer. “They got Andre Drummond with the 76ers, man, come on,” Williams said, according to Boston.com. “I’m in desperate need of some meat on my bones.” Obviously, I don’t want to reach a point where I can’t use my versatility, but I did try to put on some weight. ”

There’s a good chance this was just a passing remark by Williams; at seven feet tall and 280 pounds, Drummond is a pretty good reference point for NBA big centers. Even so, it’s a pretty specific example for a player who would have been expected to be paired with Joel Embiid before this week. READ NEXT:

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