Celtics’ Al Horford sheds light on shutting down Sixers NBA MVP Joel Embiid: “Try to make everything as difficult as I could”

The Boston Celtics‘ journey to the Eastern Conference Finals was an arduous one, especially for veteran center Al Horford. Prior to the start of the series against the Philadelphia 76ers, there were doubts about whether Horford could contain Joel Embiid, the reigning NBA MVP. However, Horford was determined to make a significant impact on the defensive end.

In Game 7, Horford’s efforts paid off as the Celtics secured a 112-88 victory over the 76ers. Although Horford struggled to score throughout the series, he compensated for it by frustrating Embiid on defense. Embiid only managed to score 15 points on 27.7 percent shooting in the deciding game.

Horford was aware that he would face a significant challenge against Embiid, who is one of the league’s most dominant players. He seemed to have approached the matchup with the mentality of making things as difficult as possible for his opponent.

“He’s the MVP of the league for a reason,” Horford acknowledged after the game. “I was just out there trying to fight for my life, trying to make an impact. I understood that in this series, it wasn’t going to be so much my offense, it was more defensively that I had to take that challenge and defend him for us to have a chance.”

As the series progressed, Horford grew more comfortable and found ways to make his presence felt. “I had to put my imprint in the series,” he stated. “I had to figure it out.”

Horford’s contributions on defense were critical to the Celtics’ success against the 76ers. He played a vital role in containing Embiid, one of the league’s most dominant big men. Embiid averaged 25.5 points per game on 42.1 percent shooting against the Celtics in the series, but Horford’s efforts helped limit his impact.

Looking ahead, the Celtics are scheduled to face the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals. Horford’s defensive skills will once again be put to the test as he faces another talented opponent in Heat center Bam Adebayo. However, Horford’s experience and determination make him a valuable asset for the Celtics, and he will undoubtedly play a crucial role in the team’s quest for an NBA championship.

In conclusion, Al Horford’s defensive prowess was instrumental in the Boston Celtics’ victory over the Philadelphia 76ers in the Eastern Conference semifinals. Horford’s efforts to contain Joel Embiid were a key factor in the Celtics’ success, and he will need to continue to perform at a high level if the team hopes to advance to the NBA Finals.

The Process Continues: Joel Embiid Vows to Improve After Disappointing Playoffs Exit

Philadelphia 76ers’ Joel Embiid has expressed his determination to improve his game during the offseason, following the team’s disappointing exit in the second round of the playoffs. Despite averaging 25.5 points, 9.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists, and 3.0 blocks per game against the Boston Celtics, Embiid struggled to find his rhythm in Game 7, scoring just 24 points on 8-for-29 shooting.

In response, he acknowledged his need to improve, stating, “I’ve got to be better, and I will be better. That’s what I’m focused on.”

However, Embiid also shifted the focus towards his teammates’ need for improvement, emphasizing that basketball is a team sport and that he and fellow star James Harden couldn’t win alone. Embiid’s desire to improve is understandable, as he has yet to make a conference finals appearance since being drafted in 2014, and the Sixers’ last conference finals appearance was in 2001.

Embiid also made headlines for his post-game press conference, where he made a joke about the team’s disappointing season. When asked if he believed the season was a failure, he playfully referenced a quote from Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo, who had said that there is no failure in sports. However, Embiid later clarified that the team’s season was indeed a failure, as they did not accomplish their goal of winning the championship.

In conclusion, Joel Embiid’s commitment to improving his game and leading his team to success is commendable. As one of the NBA’s top players, his talent and leadership will likely be crucial to the Sixers’ success in the upcoming season.


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