Al Horford on shooting more threes: “My biggest influences were Kyle Korver and Pero Antic”

Al Horford has slowly become one of the best bigs shooting threes around the league, despite starting his career on a very different era in the NBA. Entering the NBA in 2008, Horford was a capable big man in the paint.

He did not shoot any threes in his first six seasons of his career. He ended up averaging a career-high 5.4 attempts per game last season. Likewise, he attempted almost 4 threes per contest in the regular season in his return to Boston this past season.

During the Celtics’ postseason run, he’s shooting 46 percent from deep in 4.6 attempts. He made six-of-his-eight attempts from beyond the arc in Game 1 of the NBA Finals vs the Golden State Warriors.

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Speaking to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports about his habit of shooting more threes, Horford and his personal coach referred to his shot as a way to extend his career as he entered the latter-stage of his NBA career. He was also spoken about his influences.

“My teammates were very surprised when I started shooting them, but two big influences for me were Kyle Korver and Pero Antic,” Horford told Haynes. Both players were one of the best shooters in their own right.

Antic had a great career in Europe as a stretch big before joining the Atlanta Hawks for a couple of seasons. Korver was one of the best shooters in the NBA for a great number of seasons after starting his career in the early 2000s.

Both played with Horford in the Atlanta Hawks that reached the Conference Finals seven years ago.

“Both guys encouraged me to shoot the ball. And any time I shot it in the game and I looked at them to see their reaction, they were very supportive and comfortable with me shooting. So mentally for me, that was a big deal.”

The Celtics will need Horford to shoot from the perimeter and stretch the Warriors defense the same way they did in the fourth quarter of Game 1 of the NBA Finals. The Celtics went on a 40-16 run to beat Golden State and steal the home court advantage.

Game 2 is Sunday night.

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