By Michael Bennett
After Josh Richardson’s complaints about a lack of accountability, add Al Horford to the list of Sixers players who are unhappy with how this season is unfolding.
“It’s not as good as I want to be,” Horford said, according to Keith Pompey of the Inky. “I still haven’t been able to find my rhythm with the team.”
Horford is averaging 12.6 points, the fewest since averaging 12.4 through 11 games with the Atlanta Hawks during the 2011-12 season. His 46% shooting percentage from the field and 6.6 rebound average are the lowest of his 13-year career. His 69.2% free-throw percentage is the worst over a six-season stretch, leaving much to be desired for a reputable strong-shooting big man.
The veteran big man has gone from a team with many options, but unproven players to a team of veterans already set for shot opportunities before his arrival. Horford is at best the fourth-best option in the Sixers’ starting lineup after Embiid, Harris, and Simmons — rendering him useless at times.
Head coach Brett Brown said as much, hoping to explain Horford’s situation.
“Joel and Tobias have kind of been like the guys that have been getting most of the shots,” said coach Brett Brown. “Ben has the ball. So J-Rich is figuring stuff out and Al is figuring stuff out.”
It might take a while longer before the shots start to spread a little more evenly, but sacrificing shots is what comes with having a starting lineup this loaded. He’s actually averaging more shot attempts than he has the last two seasons with the Celtics, but he’s just struggled to get them to fall through 31 starts with his new team.