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For much of the 2020-21 NBA season, fans of the Boston Celtics struggled to endure watching the infamous “double big” lineups pairing emerging center Robert Williams III with veteran big men Daniel Theis and Tristan Thompson in various iterations and levels of effectiveness.
And while Williams’ helped make some of those combinations more functional than others, Celtics fans were not particularly fond of the throwback lineup, to the point it may have eased the pain of moving on from Theis at the 2021 trade deadline — and was practically celebrated in some corners when the Celtics traded away Thompson this offseason.
If you happen to be among those fans you may not be so crazy about what the Athletic’s Jared Weiss has to say about their plans for old friend Al Horford in 2021-22 with regards to Timelord in the lineup. “I expect him to play the four for the most part,” explained Weiss. “That’s generally what I was hearing.”
"I know Horford has generally wanted to play the four most of his career when he could, and as long as he's shooting the ball, fine," added the Athletic insider.
"He works as a four because he's so smart in the way that he moves the ball. He does take away a little bit about the speed of how much you can move bodies and the ball around the perimeter, but he tends to make up for it with how smart he is with it. And Rob Williams last year got a lot better playing out of that dunker spot down in the baseline to stay out of the way of guys attacking the rim. If he continues to get better playing out of that area, or even can start hitting some mid-range shots -- which he's done on very rare occasions -- then they could probably space the floor pretty well and then play very well with those two guys out there offensively."
"It's a ton of unknowns at this point," Weiss added.
Weiss also relates that Horford will still play a lot of backup center, and envisions both starting together with one of the two coming out of the game early and the other moving to the five. It's possible that further consolidatory or other trades going down ahead of opening night could change this calculus, but otherwise, it seems like a new iteration of the double big lineup might be back for Boston. And while we think this iteration will work better, it may take some time to work out the kinks. This post originally appeared on Celtics Wire. Follow us on Facebook! [lawrence-related id=57184,57180,57174,57081] [listicle id=57186]