Numbers Confirm Al Horford Is More Comfortable At Forward


The 76ers lost JJ Redick in free agency, were forced to work a sign-and-trade that sent Jimmy Butler to the Heat but their new starting lineup is one of the tallest and most talented in the NBA.

76ers Starting Lineup With Al Horford

C: Joel Embiid
PF: Al Horford
SF: Tobias Harris
SG: Josh Richardson
PG: Ben Simmons

Joel Embiid should be thrilled about Horford’s arrival. While playing with the Celtics, Horford was able to send Embiid off his game as the 76ers lost 10 of 13 meetings, including the playoffs, when both of them played between 2016 and 2019. Over that time, Embiid shot just 44.0 percent from the field and 23.6 from beyond the arc against the Celtics while shooting 47.9 percent from the field and 32.0 percent from 3-point range against the rest of the league.

Fortunately for Embiid, he won’t have to face his rival anymore. As for Horford, playing alongside Embiid allows him to be the team’s starting forward, a role he reportedly desired. Al Horford started 68 games for the Celtics last season (59 games at center) while in 2017-18 he started 60 of his 72 games at forward.

“It was money, but also other factors,” a source told the Boston Herald about Horford’s decision to join the 76ers. “I think part of it was Al wanting to play with a true center. Embiid is now the best center he doesn’t have to guard anymore.”

The numbers confirm that Horford seems to be much more comfortable at forward. Horford averaged more points and shot significantly better from 3-point range when he started at power forward over the last two seasons.

Al Horford Stats In 2017-18 & 2018-19

As starting forward: 69 games, 13.7 points per game, 45.3 percent from beyond the arc

As starting center: 71 games, 12.8 points, 34.1
percent from beyond the arc

With Joel Embiid and Al Horford in the frontcourt, the 76ers can dominate at both ends of the court and still have an All-Star center when Joel Embiid rests.

“There were some great battles (with Embiid), and when this opportunity came along, the possibility of teaming up with him got me really excited about the potential – how good we can be – help our team be defensively,” Al Horford told the Philadelphia Inquirer. “Just get to working together and do some special things.”

Odds To Win The Eastern Conference
(Courtesy of Jazz Sports)

Milwaukee Bucks +175

Philadelphia 76ers +185

Boston Celtics +600

Brooklyn Nets +900

Toronto Raptors +1000

Indiana Pacers +1000

Miami Heat +1000

Orlando Magic +2500

Chicago Bulls +5000

Atlanta Hawks +5000

Charlotte Hornets +5000

Cleveland Cavaliers +5000

Detroit Pistons +5000

New York Knicks +5000

Washington Wizards +5000

Philadelphia 76ers Regular Season Wins in 2019-20
(Courtesy of BetOnline)

Under 53.5 wins -115

Over 53.5 wins -105