BOSTON – The dominance of the Cleveland Cavaliers over the Eastern Conference over the past three years can be illustrated by what they have done to one of the conference's all-stars: Al Horford
This is the fourth consecutive Horford In the spring, LeBron James, Kevin Love, Tristan Thompson and other Cavs experienced close up. He may have spent more time on Mother's Day than his own mother in recent years.
Horford played against them in 2015 and 16 with the Atlanta Hawks and did not participate in a single victory and was ejected from a game in 2015 for a blatant foul. Last season, he absorbed another crooked series loss after moving to the Boston Celtics. In the final game of his season, Horford mustered only eight points and three rebounds and went on puckishly.
Including a 2009 series loss loss to the Cavs, Horford came to the Eastern Conference finals with a 1
In other words, Horford desperately wants to turn this black hole into an otherwise wonderful career. He may get the best chance he will get now.
In an effort to bring five shooters to the ground as much as possible, the Cavs have grown small this off-season, turning Love into the launch center. This makes the Horford Love matchup a critical point in the series and gives Horford the chance to fight back against the Cavs.
Celtics coach Brad Stevens seems to believe that because he saw the matchup as one he could exploit on his Sunday schedule. The Celtics used Love in 13 pick-and-rolls when he was lying on the ground in Game 1 with George Hill, which they obviously wanted to exploit. All in all, the Celtics ran 41 pick-and-rolls at Love and Thompson combined for Second Spectrum tracking, and Horford was involved in most of them.
Al Horford offers a great lift for the Celtics through his first seven shots in Game 1 against the Cavs.
Horford was brilliant in Sunday's role in Game 1 and continued his phenomenal play from earlier in the postseason, bringing 20 points, 4 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 blocks in Boston 108-83 Thrashing. And he was plus-17, thank you.
"He's our rock," Stevens said. "He's the guy we really, really, rely on."
Stevens has praised Horford's play and leadership since Boston won the derby to sign it in 2016, especially this season when the Celtics endure injuries to Stars Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward had.  Without Irving, the Celtics rely on Horford as the center of their offense. If you use it in pick-and-roll mode, its ability to shoot from the outside, to the edge, or to cut off the defense and look for others, is the closest thing to a point center Has.
With Love known as a weak defender, Stevens repeatedly cited Horford's number as the Celtics built an early lead Sunday. Horford tortured the love by stepping down for 3-points, driving directly to him or setting up Cavs, finding the open man when they brought love to help.
Tyronn Lue acknowledges that Cavs did not play well and says that Boston scores "far too much" 60 times.
The Cavs tried to go back to Boston and often searched for love early in the game. Horford and Marcus Morris, who switched to Love in various places, have won. Love was only 5 out of 14 shootings. Finally, Cavs & # 39; s coach Ty Lue left his game board and brought Thompson into the center to take the burden off De Love.
"[Horford’s] plays at a very high level," said Love. "He really was an ace in the hole for her."
Kevin Love talks about how the Cavs in Game 1 never got into a rhythm and how their mindset moved forward.
Horford always had these skills and his ability to defend multiple positions. In the past, the Cavs have survived by trying to pull it out of the basket. And James has sometimes strangled and assaulted him over the years when Horford defended him.
The Celtics were excluded in Game 1 from this match. James only tried two shots against Horford and made one. The Cavs Must Use Thompson Instead of Snipers Kyle Korver has sometimes made Stevens & # 39; s schedule work well with Horford.
It's something that could be a constant at the end of the series, and the winner of the Match chess game – with Horford acting as the ever-moving lady – might be the team that uses it the most.
"I feel that the coaches have come up with a great schedule for our group," said Horford. "We just shopped and did what we should do."