Celtics News: Al Horford Could Rest More After Suffering Knee Injury vs. Hawks

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMarch 16, 2019

Boston Celtics center Al Horford (42) handles the ball in the first quarter of an NBA basketball game, Friday, March 1, 2019, in Boston. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
Elise Amendola/Associated Press

Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens told reporters Saturday that the team has "mapped out three or four games" for C's center Al Horford to sit before the end of the regular season.

The comments came after a knee injury limited Horford to 28 minutes in Boston's 129-120 home win over the Atlanta Hawks. The 12-year veteran went to the locker room during the game with knee pain but later finished the contest.

Horford also told reporters that his knee is OK, and the issue is unrelated to anything previous from this season. Of note, the center missed time with patellofemoral pain syndrome in his left knee, which kept him out for seven December games. Horford also suffered from knee inflammation in November and December.

The center is in his third year with the Celtics after he spent his first nine seasons with the Atlanta Hawks, and he has become a key part of bringing balance to an otherwise perimeter-heavy rotation.

While his scoring numbers have dropped over the years, he is capable of contributing on both ends of the court every night. 

This season, Horford is averaging 13.0 points, 6.7 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game.

He also filled up the stat sheet last season, averaging 12.9 points, 7.4 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game to help hold the team together despite injuries to Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving

Horford was especially valuable on the defensive end, ranking 16th in the NBA in defensive win shares, per Basketball Reference.

His play helped him earn his fifth career All-Star selection, including his third in the last four years.

Losing Horford for any amount of time (even for singular games due to rest) could cause more problems for a team that has already struggled with consistency.

Aron Baynes and Daniel Theis will likely see extra playing time at center when Horford rests.