These Al Horford stats bode well for Celtics' chances of winning Game 2 originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
Horford missed Game 1 of the series because he was in the NBA's Health and Safety Protocols, but he has since been cleared.
There are many reasons why Horford's return improves the Celtics' chances of winning Thursday night and evening the series.
Al Horford is AVAILABLE for Game 2 tonight in Miami, and the unexpected rest could be big for the C's. ðªð½â pic.twitter.com/QI2kg6QvWY
— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) May 19, 2022
For starters, the Celtics are 42-14 in their last 56 games with Horford in the lineup. They are 3-7 when he doesn't play.
Since Christmas Day, Celtics are 1-5 when Horford is out and opponents are averaging 119.5 points scored in those games. Boston has allowed just 101.1 points per game in games Horford has played since Christmas.
Horford's defense has been a huge component to the Celtics' success this season. In fact, Horford's 238 shots defended is the most of any player in the playoffs. His 104.3 defensive rating is the third-best on the team during the postseason.
Rebounding is another area where Horford makes a positive impact. He's tallied 10 or more rebounds in six of his 11 postseason games. He leads Boston with 9.4 rebounds per game through 12 playoff matchups.
Horford should see plenty of time defending Heat center Bam Adebayo, while also proving valuable help defense in the paint when Miami forward Jimmy Butler drives to the basket.