Al Horford says he plans to play back-to-backs this season

Al Horford, Grant Williams


Grant Williams #12 of the Boston Celtics and Al Horford #42 of the Boston Celtics pose for photos.

Already in July Jared Weiss of The Athletic reported that the Boston Celtics planned to be more conservative, particularly in tackles, with 36-year-old Al Horford for the 2022-23 season.

“They will certainly need a center depth as Al Horford is expected to sit out most back-to-backs and his minutes will be limited even further next season, according to team sources,” Weiss said.

Times have changed since Weiss reported on July 7 that new signing Danilo Gallinari is likely to miss the entire season to rehab a cruciate ligament rupture and Robert Williams III will be out eight to 12 weeks for arthroscopic surgery on his knee. With those two out, the Celtics will only have Horford, Grant Williams and Luke Kornet as their only proven centers from last year’s roster.

It appears Horford’s new minute limit will not come into effect after all, as Horford admitted he plans to play back-to-back games.

Horford is entering the final year of the contract he originally signed with the Philadelphia 76ers in 2019. He’s also on the longest playoff run of his career. In the 23 games he played during the 2022 NBA playoffs, Horford averaged 12 points, 9.3 rebounds and 3.3 assists while shooting 52.3 percent from the field and 48 percent from three.

VideoCeltic’s Al Horford video drops a truth bomb about the season2022-09-27T03:50:13-04:00

The Celtics may become more conservative with Horford once Williams returns and/or if they decide they need another veteran center option to keep him.

Horford supports Joe Mazzulla

With Ime Udoka suspended for the season, Joe Mazzulla has taken the reins as the Celtics’ interim head coach. At 34, Mazzulla is not only one of the youngest coaches in the league, but also two years younger than Horford.

When asked about the age difference, Horford thought it was pretty cool to have a coach younger than him.

When asked about Mazzulla himself, Horford expresses his support for his new coach.

“As for Joe, I’m happy for him, for this opportunity. He is someone we all respect and we will stand behind him. We’re really going to put in the time and work to get this done.”

While Mazzulla will be the Celtics’ third manager in the final three years, he will also be Horford’s fifth manager in the final five years, dating back to his final year in his first tenure with the Celtics.

2019 – Brad Stevens
2020 – Brett Brown
2021—Mark Daigenault
2022 – Ime Udoka
2023—Joe Mazzulla

That could very well change too if Mazzulla shows he’s not up to the task, but Horford clearly believes in his new coach.

Insider reveals how much longer Horford wants to play

At 36, a player only has that many years left during their time in the NBA. Many players are no longer productive at this age or even earlier. Horford proved last season he’s still got it at 35, but how much longer can he keep going?

According to Chris Mannix from NBC Sports Boston, Horford not only believes he can continue like this, but he also has a good idea of ​​when his time will be up.

“When he spoke to Al Horford, he told me he wasn’t just thinking about playing this year,” Mannix said. “His body feels so good that he feels like he can play another two or three years and keep his career going at the age of almost 40.”

That all depends on how his body holds up as Horford nears his late 30s. Al Horford says he plans to play back-to-backs this season

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