Celtics have ‘awareness’ for Al Horford’s championship situation

Al Horford will turn 38 on June 3. He is firmly in the final few years of his career. After coming off the bench for the first time since he entered the NBA, the Boston Celtics veteran found himself operating with the starting unit after Kristaps Porzingis suffered a right soleus strain when facing the Miami Heat.

The Celtics are back in the NBA Finals. Horford’s first trip to the final stage of the postseason came in 2022, when the Celtics fell short against the Golden State Warriors. This could be his last chance to win a championship before calling time on his career. According to Joe Mazzulla, who was speaking during a recent appearance on Zolak & Bertrand, the Celtics roster is aware of his situation.

“I think naturally understanding the situation that we’re in, the situation that he’s in, yeah, there’s definitely an awareness to it,” Mazzulla said. “I think that’s kind of what brings a team closer together around this time: You’ve got to be able to think about the guy next to you. You’ve got to stick together and you have to understand that you need the guy next to you in order to win.”

Horford is a key part of the Celtics’ locker room. He’s been a veteran leader throughout both of his spells with the franchise. His selfless brand of basketball has made him a fan-favorite, while Jayson Tatum has consistently referred to Horford as one of his favorite teammates.

Boston will face the Dallas Mavericks or the Minnesota Timberwolves in the Finals. They will be heading into that series as the more experienced team and arguably the more talented team. This is Horford’s best shot at adding a ring to his resume. Celtics fans will be hoping the team can complete their mission.

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Story originally appeared on Celtics Wire