NBA Playoffs 2018 News: Al Horford‘s All-Around Brilliance Keeping the Boston Celtics in Position to Make a Finals Run

NBA Playoffs 2018 News: Al Horford‘s All-Around Brilliance Keeping the Boston Celtics in Position to Make a Finals RunCeltics currently up 3-0 in their second round series against the Philadelphia 76ers

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Sign up By , Christian Post Contributor | May 7, 2018 10:22 AM Wikimedia Commons/Keith AllisonAl Horford is the tough and experienced leader of the Boston Celtics

Back when center Al Horford signed with the Boston Celtics in July 2016, hardcore fans of the team praised the acquisition as they knew that the veteran big man would positively impact the team in different ways.

There were also fans who were indifferent about the deal because they didn‘t see Horford as the kind of superstar the Celtics needed to take another step forward.

While the Celtics are still longshots to win the title this year due in part to All-Stars Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving being sidelined by injuries, they probably wouldn‘t even be in the position they are currently if not for the outstanding all-around play of Horford.

Game 3 of the Celtics‘ second round matchup with the Philadelphia 76ers provided the latest showcase of just how good of a basketball player Horford really is.

 details, Horford made two huge plays in overtime that helped the Celtics emerge triumphant.

The first play featured Horford somehow finding a way to get free in the paint long enough to catch the inbounds pass and then go up for a tough lay-up. Horford may have tumbled to the ground right after taking the shot, but it didn‘t matter because he just put the Celtics ahead in a critical juncture of the game.

Moments later, Horford would allow his defensive instincts to take over as he managed to deflect the inbounds pass meant for Joel Embiid.

He then calmly stepped up to the free throw line, sank two shots and effectively sealed the Game 3 win for the Celtics.

While Game 3 may have featured Horford at his best during crunch time, the 31-year-old has been stepping up his production for the Celtics all throughout this postseason.

, Horford posted solid if unspectacular averages of nearly 13 points, more than seven rebounds and just under five assists per game while shooting 49 percent from the field during the 2017–18 regular season.

For the playoffs, Horford has been putting up nearly 18 points per game and pulling down 8.6 rebounds. His assist numbers are down a bit, but he‘s more than made up for that by converting more than 59 percent of the shots he‘s taken from the floor, .

With the Celtics missing the aforementioned Hayward and Irving, there were analysts who predicted that they could fall in the first round of these playoffs.

The Celtics have clearly proven those analysts wrong, and thanks in large part to Horford and many other Celtics stepping up, they are now in position to continue deeper into the postseason.

The Celtics will have home court advantage against their likely Eastern Conference Finals opponents, the Cleveland Cavaliers. Thus far, the Celtics have proven unbeatable at home, and if they can continue that, then they may be set to make an appearance in the NBA Finals in a few weeks.

Who knows? Maybe this Celtics team that has been proving doubters wrong all year may even have a shot at winning the ultimate prize.

More news about the standout performers of the 2018 NBA playoffs should be made available in the near future.

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