The Celtics’ Dominican center will end next season at the age of 37 within a limited game plan
Last season the Boston Celtics were very close to being champions in the NBA. Only an experienced and healthy Golden State Warriors team interfered with their plans, but next season they have to be counted among the title favorites.
They maintain the same core of important players for 2022-23, despite trade rumors (mainly with the Brooklyn Nets) in which Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, among others, were mentioned.
They bring new faces to make the team even more competitive in relevant figures such as Malcolm Brogdon, acquired via exchange for Daniel Theis, Nik Staukas and several other secondary players, and Danillo Galinari who signed a guaranteed two-year contract for a reported value of $13.3 million dollars.
But on the guys who have to fight in the paint for rebounds and be the last line of defense against opponents working their way to the rim, there hasn’t been much movement on that.
Al Horford He remains the team’s main big man, but the Celtics have already pondered that they will have a plan to handle the Dominican’s game load.
Luke Kornet would be the other man in the paint for the Celtics at 7’3”, although he only appeared in 15 games last regular season.
According to a report, those from Boston would be pondering limiting the number of minutes of the Dominican and would also be resting in both games when the team plays consecutively, this probably to protect him in the final part of the campaign and after coming from the season longest of his career, playing for the first time in an NBA finals.
So who or who will play when Horford is not available or will they be in charge of substituting him during games?
Taking into account the personnel they have, Robert Williams III should ideally go out as the starting “center” since he has shown to protect the rim well (2.2 blocks per game) and play with a short lineup.
Maybe a Grant Williams, who looked good in the first games of the playoffs, could enter the starting lineup, or opt for a Malcolm Brogdon to be part of the starting five.
The truth is that taking into account the current situation of Horford, the Celtics will have to strengthen the center position, despite reports in recent weeks that suggest that they will try to compete with the men who are currently on the roster.
A lot will be demanded of the Dominican this season and it is up to him to show that despite the years, his physical condition remains at the highest level of the best league in the world, in a competitive team that due to the precedent, anything that does not represents one more championship can be classified as a failure.
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