• Al Horford has demonstrated in Game 1 of the NBA Finals that he is worthy of his roster spot
  • Horford has entered the record books with his Game 1 performance against the Dubs
  • He has been quietly contributing to help in the Celtics' campaign this season

Al Horford was someone whose NBA career appeared to be done when he moved out of Boston after the 2018-19 season.

At the time, the five-time All-Star was offered a four-year $109 million deal by the Philadelphia 76ers.

The Celtics opted not to match that sum despite the third-overall pick of the 2007 NBA Draft preferring to stay in Beantown.

Horford’s stint with the Sixers never panned out as mentioned in a previous post as he ended up getting traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder in December 2020.

Like Philly, his stint in OKC did not go well too, sitting the rest of the season with the Thunder focusing on their younger players.

In all, it appeared Horford’s career was coming to an abrupt end. But that was before he returned to the same team where he shone brightly.

It was a questionable return for some, but now the Dominican is proving why the Celtics should have tried harder to retain him in 2019.

Horford made headlines for his performance in Game 1 of the 2022 NBA Finals as he was part of the huge run that helped the Celtics steal to secure the 120-108 win on the home floor of the Dubs.

The 6-foot-9 cager led the winning cause with 26 points, six rebounds, and three assists.

But it was in the fourth quarter where he made two three-pointers and a bucket that aided the C's to victory.

But for those following the current NBA season, Horford has had good games that most may have overlooked.

Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown have been leading the charge for head coach Ime Udoka, but Horford has done his share.

As far as the NBA Finals is concerned, Horford did enter the history books as his 26 markers were the most ever in an NBA Finals debut by anyone who did not make the All-Star or all-league team in a season.

Other players who did the feat before him include Jerry Lucas in 1972 and Billy Cunningham in 1967.

But of course, one game does not decide the series.

Horford has shown he will be a factor for the Celtics, sending a fair warning to the Dubs that he is not there just to bang bodies but to also play some offense.

Al Horford #42 of the Boston Celtics
Al Horford #42 of the Boston Celtics Getty Images | Thearon W. Henderson