Al Horford’s loss means all Florida Gators bounced out of 2018 NBA Playoffs

By Adam Silverstein
May 29, 2018
Al Horford’s loss means all Florida Gators bounced out of 2018 NBA Playoffs

Image Credit: ESPN Images

The 2018 NBA Playoffs have come and gone — at least as far as Florida Gators are concerned, and there’s no question that center Al Horford had himself a breakout postseason.

Over the course of 19 playoff games, Horford averaged 15.7 points, 8.3 rebounds and 3.3 assists along with a block and steal per game; he shot 54 percent from the field and made 35 percent of his threes (15 of 43), while also hitting 83 percent of his free throws.

Simply put, the Boston Celtics would not have gotten as far as they did without Horford’s presence, and he undoubtedly showed up when it mattered most for his team. Horford not only posted 26 points (on 13 of 17 shooting) and eight boards in Boston’s first Game 7 win in the Conference Quarterfinals, he also chipped in 17 points on Sunday during his team’s tough Game 7 loss in the Eastern Conference Finals on Sunday to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Named to his fifth NBA All-Star team earlier this year, Horford was also named NBA All-Defense Second Team following his tremendous campaign. At 31 with two years and $59 million left on his contract with the Celtics, Horford should have an opportunity to see the rebuilding process through under head coach Brad Stevens. With Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward returning next season, Boston may well find its way into the 2019 NBA Finals. As for how NBA betting sites will have the Celtics ranked, that remains to be seen.

Horford was not the only former Florida player to make it into the NBA Playoffs this year. Here’s how the others performed as the 2017-18 season provided the fewest Gators in the postseason over the last decade or more.

Bradley Beal, G, Washington Wizards: After earning his first NBA All-Star nod this season following a tremendous season in which he averaged 22.6 points per game, Beal played a starting role for the Wizards in their first-round series; unfortunately, it was a losing effort for Washington, which got bounced 4-2 by Toronto. beal averaged 23.2 points on 45 percent shooting, but he drained an impressive 47 percent of his threes over the six games.

Corey Brewer, G/F, Oklahoma City Thunder: Former Gators coach Billy Donovan acquired Brewer from the Lakers in the middle of the season and almost immediately inserted him into the starting lineup. And while Brewer maintained that role early in OKC’s first-round series against Utah, he quickly lost that job. Brewer averaged just 6.2 points and 2.2 boards over the course of the series while averaging 25.2 minutes per game. The Thunder were bounced 4-2 in six games by the Jazz.

Udonis Haslem, PF, Miami Heat: After playing only 15 regular-season games as the last member of Miami’s bench (72 minutes total), Haslem sat out his team’s lone playoff series, a 4-1 loss to Philadelphia. The 14-year NBA veteran has not been a regular contributor over the last two seasons or played double-digit minutes since 2015. It is likely that he will retire this offseason.

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