‘My stuff gets done on the floor’: Al Horford laughs at Bruce Brown’s comments ahead of Celtics-Nets series

"I'm excited to get going tomorrow."

Charles Krupa
Al Horford's looking forward to the Celtics-Nets series finally starting on Sunday.

Bruce Brown dished out the first shot of the Celtics-Nets first-round series just moments after the matchup was finalized.

“Now they don’t have Robert Williams, so they have less of a presence in the paint, and we could attack Al Horford and [Daniel] Theis,” the Nets guard said Tuesday. “So them not having Robert Williams is huge.”

A day before Game 1, Horford isn’t engaging in the trash talk battle, giving a little laugh when asked about Brown’s comments on Saturday.

“I’m excited to get going tomorrow,” Horford said. “My stuff gets done on the floor. We’re looking forward to the challenge on the floor.”


Horford’s response to Brown’s comment isn’t too far off from the response Theis gave a couple of days earlier.

“He said what he said,” Theis said Thursday. “So for us, it’s more — we show it on the court. If he thinks the way he thinks, we’re gonna prove him wrong.”

Horford’s actually been a key reason for the Celtics’ defensive prowess and why they hold the league’s top defensive unit. He’s averaging 1.3 blocks per game this season, which is the 17th-best in the league. He really stands out in some defensive metrics, such as defensive rating (where he ranks fourth in the league), defensive win shares (sixth), and defensive box plus/minus (fifth).

While Horford’s shown signs of being a really good defender in the past, this season was a bit of a surprise. The 35-year-old struggled in Philadelphia two seasons ago and played fine but didn’t see much time in Oklahoma City last year. There were also questions about Horford’s durability as he missed some games in his last season in Boston due to leg injuries.

Horford ended up not missing much time at all this season, playing in 69 games as he averaged 10.2 points and 7.7 rebounds per game. He credited the Celtics’ medical team for helping him remain healthy not just throughout the season, but for also having him in a good spot entering the playoffs.


“Our medical team has been unbelievable,” Horford said. “I can speak for the rest of the guys, [they’re] just keeping us feeling well, healthy. I played, I think, 69 games this season. I felt good for most of the season. Just our coaches also getting us prepared, working every day on the day-to-day on the basketball aspect of things.”

As Horford’s individual performance surprised this season, so did Boston’s performance as a whole. The Celtics were multiple games below .500 as late as January, sitting in 11th place in the Eastern Conference. Like Horford, the Celtics flipped the switch, going 26-6 in the final 32 games to climb all the way to second place in the Eastern Conference by the end of the season.

When Horford was traded back to Boston last June, he envisioned the Celtics would be in the spot they’re in this April. The journey to getting to this point was rocky at first, but Horford remained confident that the team’s defensive ability could help turn things around.

“Going in, my feel was that I wanted us to be in this type of position that we’re in,” Horford said. “Early on it wasn’t looking like that. Our group, we really just stayed committed to doing the things that coach kept harping on: defending and establishing ourselves on the defensive end. As the season went on, it started going more as I envisioned. Finishing the regular season like we did, it’s something that I expected from this group. Now we’ve got a great opportunity ahead of us.”


Getting the No. 2 seed gives the Celtics a pair of advantages entering the first round. The obvious is that they have home-court advantage, which means Game 7 would be in Boston if it were to get to that point. But they also had a week off as their regular season ended on Sunday against the Grizzlies.

Horford acknowledged that having that much time off can lead to rust and he looked a bit anxious to finally get things going.

“It’s been nice, but it’s been long. It has been long,” Horford said. “Sometimes you wait so long to play that it’s kind of a drag. But it’s finally going to be here tomorrow and we can play some games.”

As the Celtics’ week-long break is set to come to an end, Horford believes he and his team are ready for the possible two-week-long battle that awaits them.

“We’ve had the ability to practice a little more. Usually, during the season, the practices are a little different. Now we have some days. We have the time,” Horford said. “So yeah, we’ve gotten to go at each other a little bit, but also continuing to work and prepare for the game.

“We’re at the point where everything we’ve needed to do, we’ve done. We’ve covered the game plan several times. We’re just excited that we finally had our last practice and ready to get this started.”


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