Can Al Horford become a legit sixth man for the Philadelphia 76ers?
There’s no denying that the Philadelphia 76ers would be much better off if they could find a team that would want to trade for Al Horford. However, there’s a real chance that they might be unsuccessful in dealing Horford to another club this offseason. If that ends up being the case, can he become an elite sixth man in the league for the Sixers?
Fans probably shouldn’t go off of his stats as a reserve from last season, if they want to have hope he can be good as a sixth man. In the six games he came off the bench last year, he averaged 6.5 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 2.8 assists, while shooting just 42.9 percent from the floor and 28.6 percent from the 3-point line.
The reason to not take these stats from last season seriously is that he was thrusted into that role halfway into that year, under a different head coach. Now he has a new head coach and a whole offseason to prepare for that role.
Al Horford as a sixth man for the Sixers.
More from The Sixer Sense
The Sixers new head coach Doc Rivers has had some legit success with sixth men in the past. He’s coached three players on the Los Angeles Clippers that have won the Sixth Man of the Year award in Jamal Crawford, Lou Williams, and Montrezl Harrell.
It’s doubtful he will be in contention for the Sixth Man of the Year award if he were to stay on the Sixers. Between Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, and Tobias Harris, it’s unlikely Horford will get much more than 24 minutes a game at the power forward or center positions coming off the bench.
That being said, it doesn’t mean Rivers can’t maximize a post-prime Horford coming off the bench. Playing fewer minutes per game will help preserve Horford’s legs and improve his efficiency in scoring the ball.
As I wrote on in a previous article, Rivers is great at getting players to buy into their roles and he should have no getting a veteran like Horford to buy into his role coming off the bench. If he can, then the Sixers will be solid at the center position moving forward.
Horford may not put up big numbers coming off the bench for the Philadelphia 76ers this upcoming season, but he can be a good sixth man for this team with Rivers putting him in the right spots to succeed.