Ex-Celtic Al Horford doesn't sound pleased with role in 76ers offense


Sometimes the grass isn't always greener on the other side of the fence.

When Al Horford left the Boston Celtics to sign a four-year, $109 million contract with the Philadelphia 76ers in July, the thought was he'd get to play a significant role on a talented team with NBA championship aspirations.

While the Sixers are winning games, that "significant role" part isn't going as planned for Horford.

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Horford has struggled to coexist with All-Star big man Joel Embiid, and it's showing: He's on pace to have one of the worst offensive seasons of his career, averaging just 12.6 points, 6.6 rebounds and 3.8 assists through 31 games while shooting 46 percent from the field and 34.4 percent from 3-point range.

In fact, Horford has gotten frustrated to the point where he's openly discussing his disappointment with how things have gone.

"I still haven’t been able to find my rhythm with the team," Horford said Monday, via Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

" ... I’m out [there] for the team and doing what I can to help us. But offensively, I’m very limited with the things that I can do. So I can’t control that stuff."

Those are relatively strong words from the normally diplomatic big man, who apparently feels he's getting squeezed a bit in Philly's offense.

Horford currently ranks fourth on the team in shot attempts (11.3 per game), behind Embiid, Tobias Harris and Josh Richardson. The 33-year-old's attempts are actually up from his previous two seasons with the Celtics, but Brad Stevens' offense was much more free-flowing, while the Sixers' attack runs primarily through Embiid and Ben Simmons.

"It’s always an adjustment period when you are with a new team," Horford added. "Things don’t necessarily click how you want them to. It’s just a different challenge."

You don't need to connect many dots to infer Horford thinks he could play a larger role in Philly's offense. After a string of underwhelming performances -- fewer than 10 points in five of his last seven contests -- it appears Horford's frustration has boiled over a bit.

The good news for Horford is that the Sixers are still in the playoff mix -- tied for fourth in the Eastern Conference at 23-12 -- but he'll need to find better footing in Philly if they want to be a serious title contender.

Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Hawks, which tips off Friday at 6:30 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live, and then Mike and Tommy have the call at 7 p.m. You can also stream the game on the MyTeams App.

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