Sixers

Horford Patching Subpar Season with Embiid, Simmons Out

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Upon hearing that Al Horford was going to be a Sixer, I did not know how to act. It was unexpected news, and it came with conflicting reactions. As a Philadelphia fan, you simply hate the Celtics — and what you hate more specifically is that Horford would always get inside of Joel Embiid’s head and affect his play. 

 

2018-2019 Horford

During Horford’s final season with the Celtics, he averaged 13.6 points per game, 6.7 rebounds, and 4.2 assists. He shot 36% from 3-point range, draining 73 of 203 attempts.

2019-2020 Horford (so far)

During this season, however, any previous form of excitement relating to Horford as a Sixer has quickly diminished, and even turned to frustration. So far, Horford has started 56 games, and played in 59 total. He is currently averaging 11.9 points, 6.8 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game. Brett Brown decided to move Horford to a reserve role after he went scoreless in 30 minutes for the first time in his career on February 9th against the Bulls.

Furthermore, Horford had not come off the bench in a game in which he was available since his rookie season, way back in 2007-08. In comparison to his previous season, Horford is taking more 3-pointers — 258 total already — but his accuracy is down. His 85 makes put him near 33% overall. It is clear that fans have been unhappy with Horford’s results, or lack thereof. 

Recent resurgence…

Though Horford’s production has slipped this year, he has successfully made his mark in games without Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and Josh Richardson. More specifically, Horford had back-to-back strong games against the Kings and Warriors. Against Sacramento, Horford went for 18-8-6, and he followed that with 22-10-7 against Golden State. He shot 40% from deep, and his passing and defense have improved.

Could Horford’s recent success be attributed to a wake-up call after being benched? Or could it be that he is just more effective from his natural position of center instead of playing power forward? With Embiid hopeful to return for Wednesday’s game against the Pistons, we do not know what to expect, but the Sixers will need Horford’s continued production as they make their way toward the playoffs.

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About Dakota Hurwitz

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