NBA Scout Reveals Boston Celtics’ Biggest X-Factor This Season

Boston Celtics, NBA News
NBA Analysis Network

The Boston Celtics are hoping that they can get things back on track during the 2021-22 NBA season after a disappointing 2020-21 season. The team struggled to find consistency and were bounced from the first round of the NBA Playoffs by the Brooklyn Nets after advancing to the Eastern Conference Finals in the 2020 Orlando Bubble.

Looking to shake things up, Brad Stevens, who moved from the sidelines to the front office, was very active making moves to the roster. Three players from their playoff rotation, Kemba Walker, Evan Fournier, and Tristan Thompson, are no longer with the team. Semi Ojeleye, who appeared in 56 games during the regular season, is no longer with the team as well.

The Boston Celtics will be relying on Al Horford, Josh Richardson, Dennis Schroder, Enes Kanter, Juancho Hernangomez and Bruno Fernando will be part of the new cast that will help replace what they lost.

Boston is in good shape as they have two young All-Stars in Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown leading the way. But, they will need help if the team is to get back to contending in the Eastern Conference.

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Which player may help the most? An NBA scout, talking to NBA Analysis Network’s own Evan Massey, believes it is Horford that will be the team’s biggest x-factor this season.

“Obviously, the Celtics will go as far as (Jayson) Tatum and (Jaylen) Brown will take them. But, Al Horford is the key piece alongside the superstars. Boston will rely heavily on Horford on both ends of the court.”

This is Horford’s second stint in Beantown, as he played three seasons with the organization from 2016-2019. His versatility in the frontcourt on both ends of the floor is something the team has missed the last two seasons in which he spent with the Philadelphia 76ers and Oklahoma City Thunder.

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Horford can play either frontcourt spot given his skill set. He is an adept passer and can stretch the floor offensively. Defensively, he can defend either spot but is probably better off playing center at this stage of his career as he can struggle to keep up with some players on the perimeter.

Ultimately, this team will only go as far as Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown can carry it. But, if they can get help from some of the other veterans such as Horford, they will be a difficult team to beat throughout the season.

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Kenneth Teape is an NBA Reporter for NBA Analysis Network. He covers all things across the league, including both news and editorial work. Make sure to follow Kenneth on Twitter at @teapester725.