The early return shows the real value of Al Horford and other thoughts on the situation of the Celtics also reflect the real value of the early returns and the evolution of the Greeks

The early return shows the real value of Al Horford and other thoughts on the situation of the Celti ...

Here are eight thoughts on Celtics history.

The Celtics traded Kemba Walker and the Thunder was a first-round pick for Al Horford, but it was mostly a move to make a clear move for Walkers massive salary and give him a future deal. Nonetheless, he continues to grow in a new career.

He averages 8.4 rebounds, the highest mark since 2013-14, with a career-high 1.8 blocks, despite allowing only 29.1 minutes per game. Celtics have a 10.2.1 defensive rating with Horford, the third best on the team.

Again, its clear to the younger players the team was able to recognize how much the organization's steady, veteran leadership is valued.

The apparent regression of former players Payton Pritchard and Aaron Nesmith should concern the Celtics. Pritchard was a revelation during the first half of the rookie season, but he proved a well-known role during the last two months of the season. He then improved his performance with fast-paced defense.

Both players had strong summer league showings and seemed ready to capitalize on their momentum. Even though they had no chances, they simply didn't deliver.

The Celtics have been outscored by 17 points per 100 possessions with Pritchard on the floor and 23.1 when Nesmith plays. The sample size is small, but these numbers are ghastly numbers.

Nesmith has made 29.8 percent of his shots and 20 percent of his 3-pointers, and Pritchard has connected 22,7 and 25 percent respectively.

The Celtics' greatest weakness is their shooting, and these are the two players who are competent enough to boost the field.

It was a little weird seeing former president of basketball operations Danny Ainge sitting along the baseline and chanting about bad calls like a second-time president, since there is nothing to watch in the arena in which distractions remain minimal and cameras are not lurking as a result of that decision.

If this uneven season continues, it will be interesting to see if he feels something urgent to improve the roster as he approaches the first trade deadline.

Those who have been hesitant to get up and get more creative with a larger sample, are the Celtics rank 25th in 3-point shooting? On one hand, Jayson Tatum, Horford, and Marcus Smart have had unusually cold start from beyond the arc. They ought to improve with a smaller sample.

But it was also true that this team simply doesn't have a real sniper other than Tatum, and it is apparent that more reliable shooting would put defenses off tougher decisions when trying to guard Tatum and Brown.

Sam Hauser makes 46,4 percent of his 3-pointers for the MC Celtics for what it's worth.

However, this team remains many steps from championship contention, so its unlikely Stevens would make a significant short-term move that dents future possibilities.

The health of center Robert Williams might become one of the most important story lines; he's had a frequent left knee pain, and the Celtics are working to tackle the problem, but the impact was obvious.

The Celtics have a plus-10.7 net rating with Williams on the floor; this number plummets to minus-5.9 when he is not playing. As for the Celtics, his 99.9 defensive rating leads the NBA.

You must be cautious with the big man in the coming months, so if you are a bit more conservative with the teen's as far as I think, your coach will be a bit lower.

Is it too obvious that Tatum would be an All-Star if the team were selected today?

Despite his amount of points and 8.4 assists a game, he's reaching a point where, after suffering serious injury, he's essentially a limited group of players who have yearly tickets punched.

As far as the Celtics, his career-low shooting percentage of 40.6 is the lowest among the NBAs top 20 scorers. Against the backdrop of the high-profile uptick, the Celtics are in the middle of the Eastern region.

Theres no guarantee that Tatum stays, so at this point it is certainly nothing to lock.

The Nets held a 2-0 victory over the Celtics on Wednesday. Aldridge and Udoka are extremely close. They played together in Portland for a season, Udoka was an assistant for San Antonio while Aldridge played there, and both were with the Nets last year.

I was told that Udoka and Aldridge had a brief talk last summer that they could discuss Aldridge's potential joining the Celtics. But when Aldridge was so excited, Udoka said it made sense to stick with the team that stood by him when he temporarily retired last April because of a heart condition.

This was the most forgotten season of recent memory. Celtics had relatively easy schedules so far, and now they are 10-9. They were 11-8 at this point last year, which became one of those more forgettable seasons in recent memory.

The Eastern Conference standings are a logjam. The Celtics are three-way between four and eight points, but just two games out of the no. 2 spot.

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