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NBA 2018-19: Al Horford makes much-needed return from injury

Al Horford(42) in action against the Hornets
Al Horford(42) in action against the Hornets
CONTRIBUTOR
Modified 25 Dec 2018, 17:24 IST
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Al Horford has been a revelation at Boston ever since he signed for the Celtics in 2016. He is the engine that drives the team, Horford has had a slow start to the season this time around and it's no wonder that is one of the major reasons of the Celtics struggles too, currently sitting at 5th in the Eastern Conference standings.

The Celtics routed the Charlotte Hornets 109-103 yesterday as Horford made his return from injury, He showed exactly what the Celtics were missing with 10 points,6 rebounds and 5 assists in just 19 minutes.

It's true that his performances this season have been disappointing by his standards, but Horford should step up in the Playoffs. When the Celtics really need him, Horford is one of those players who always seem to take their game to another level in the Playoffs, Horford has always been a team player and his role is going to be vital if the Celtics have to make a deep run into the NBA Finals.

After missing seven straight games due to knee soreness, Horford looked well-rested and fresh on his return, When asked about how he felt, Horford said “It was very helpful having that time off. I’m just happy that I was able to go out there and play with a lot of energy,” “It’s just good to be back. Sitting on the sidelines is tough, not being able to be on the court helping the guys. I’m just happy to be back playing.”

At this stage of his career, having such rests once in a while could be vital for Horford, which would allow him to save his body for the playoffs, Celtics could look to add to their depth and find another backup option to Horford.

When Asked if the Celtics’ previous two losses, when they were dominated in the paint by Milwaukee and Phoenix, might have influenced his decision to return, Horford said no.

“The way we had it set, I was hopeful I would be able to come back this game, or if not this game the next one (on Christmas),” he said. “I’m just glad I felt good enough yesterday and we made a lot of progress the past two days, and I felt good enough to play.”

Kyrie Irving may be the star of the team, but with Hayward still recovering and Tatum and Brown developing, Horford is clearly the team's most important player and him being healthy could make or break the Celtics' season.

Horford in Action on his return against the Charlotte Hornets
Horford in Action on his return against the Charlotte Hornets
Published 25 Dec 2018, 17:24 IST
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