Vivlamore reporting prior to this morning’s shoot-around as the regular season opens against the Rockets.
Here is a Q and A I did with center Al Horford.
Q. How are you health-wise? Do you have any trepidation going into the season (coming off torn pectoral muscle)?
A. I feel good. One of the things I tried to do this summer was get my strength back to help the team. Physically, I feel good. I’m excited about the year.
Q. I know each player met with coach Drew to discuss their role on the team. What did he say would be your role this year?
A. With me, it’s very basic. I feel like I know my role here and it’s to come out and be a presence inside on defense, and on offense as well. Being able to rebound, set screens, know when to pass the ball, know when to shoot the ball. I’m just trying to win. That’s the way I play. Our discussion was about that. Just making sure that we know what he expects from us.
Q. This is a different team this year in that you are smaller at the 2 and 3 positions. With an emphasis on help defense, how does that affect you as the one in the middle, the last line of defense?
A. We have a challenge. We have to be realistic. We know that I am a smaller center, more of a power forward being realistic. Our guys are smaller on the perimeter. Our whole thing this year is on team defense. We can’t get caught up in individual matchups. We have to do it as a unit. We have to help each other in order for us to be successful on defense. We know we can score the ball. We need to be able to do that. We are not going to leave anybody stranded out on an island in a mismatch. We are going to do it collectively.
Q. Do you prefer to play power forward instead of center?
A. It just depends but I’m comfortable playing both. Me and Josh have played together, this is our sixth year together, so I feel comfortable playing with him. I feel comfortable playing with Zaza (Pachulia). When I’m facing a much bigger guy than me, obviously I would prefer Zaza come in and take some weight off of me, at least for a while. But I’m comfortable playing both positions.
Q. Last year when Rick Sund was the general manager, he was insistent on having three centers on the roster. It ended up that you needed four centers. Are you comfortable where the team is going into the season at the center position?
A. I think that is a point that we need to address. I’m sure that team management is looking at our roster. I do agree that we need a certain amount of centers with big bodies to be successful. Right now, (Johan) Petro is behind (with a sore back) and we don’t know when we can count on him. So, yes, I’m sure team management is looking into probably getting another big body to help us.
- Chris Vivlamore
Follow me on Twitter at ajchawks