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Reports: Horford out 3-4 months with torn muscle

Posted on: January 12, 2012 3:17 pm
Edited on: January 12, 2012 3:22 pm
 
Posted by Royce Young

The light on the Hawks season just went dim.

According to multiple reports, center Al Horford is out 3-4 months with a torn left pectoral muscle. Which doesn't necessarily mean he's done for the year, but the optimistic side, three months, brings him back mid-April. The playoffs start at the end of April.

Horford was injured Wednesday against the Pacers when he was blocked by Roy Hibbert on a dunk attempt. Horford left the game and did not return.

What this means for the Hawks is that they are not nearly as good as they were a day ago. They've started the season playing relatively solid basketball and a lot of that has to do with the consistentcy Horford gives them. Without him, the Hawks have Zaza Pachulia and Jason Collins in reserve. Which translates to big problems for Atlanta.

Not that the Hawks were a real contender, but then again, remember this team went to the Eastern Semifinals last season and played the Bulls pretty tough in six games. Horford isn't the East's best center, but he's certainly one of them. And not having him for most of the regular season is a massive blow.

How do you replace a guy like Horford, who was putting up 12.4 points and 7.0 rebounds a game with a PER of 20.0? It might not seem like a bunch, but he balanced the Atlanta offense. He gave Josh Smith the ability to be Josh Smith and provided a pressure release for Joe Johnson and Marvin Williams. He was off to a bit of a slow start this year anyway and was sure to pick it up. He's been a consistent 15-10 the two years prior.

The question is if the Hawks have a mind to try and make a deal to replace Horford or are they set with trying to let Pachulia and Collins handle the load? Or does Larry Drew dare try and get creative, letting Josh Smith drop down to the 5 with Williams playing power forward? There really isn't a good solution here right now. I've said it already, but this really is a massive blow to one of the East's playoff contenders.

The Hawks should still reach the playoffs in the East without him for these three months, but if he's not fully healthy for the postseason, Atlanta's season will end there abruptly.
Comments

Since: Aug 2, 2007
Posted on: January 13, 2012 7:50 am
 

Reports: Horford out 3-4 months with torn muscle

This is REAL bad for the Hawks!! They have No chance now that Big Al is gone for the season!
Even though they play in a very soft East Div, This will cripple them. They have no big man now.
I wish Al a speedy recovery,  But Stick a Fork in the Hawks, Their DONE!



Since: Nov 3, 2006
Posted on: January 13, 2012 4:23 am
 

Reports: Horford out 3-4 months with torn muscle

This is definitely a blow for Atlanta. Though unless they can get a really sweet deal I don't think there's any reason to panic and deal away a piece for a stopgap.

Zaza Pachulia is actually a pretty underrated center, he's actually more of a true center than Horford. With more minutes, I think he may be able to become a double double guy, and I've seen big men who are worse passers. The problem is that they can't ask Zaza to start for all 48 minutes. And he'll need plenty of good help defense to stay out of foul trouble against guys like Dwight Howard. And anytime he gets in foul trouble...

The depth is definitely a concern now, the onus is now on Jason Collins to step up and be ready at all times. It might be worth giving Ivan Johnson a crack at center for a small lineup kind of like what the Suns had when they still had Boris Diaw. Johnson's been a nice addition to the team so far and maybe it's worth a try. Josh Smith at the 5 is not a good solution for any extended stretch. What after that? Vlad?



Since: Jan 11, 2007
Posted on: January 12, 2012 11:50 pm
 

Reports: Horford out 3-4 months with torn muscle

hmmmm u might be on to something...Cool



Since: Dec 1, 2007
Posted on: January 12, 2012 7:19 pm
 

Reports: Horford out 3-4 months with torn muscle

I am a Hawks fan and I have to say this is bad for Al and this year but good overall. The Hawks need a high draft pick to get a true center. They have a cycle of being decent and being the 4 or 5 seed for several years and then not being so great for a few years. When they get high draft picks they always pick a bust player. Case and point: they picked Marvin Williams over Chris Paul. Since they are going to field a team of above average, not great players, they need a true center to have any chance to make it past the second round.



Since: Apr 26, 2008
Posted on: January 12, 2012 6:59 pm
 

Reports: Horford out 3-4 months with torn muscle

Why not takle a look @ signing Shaq for the remainder fo the year?  The Hawks almost signed him last year before Boston offered more money.

Tell me you're joking, Shaq is an announcer for TNT now and is in no shape to return to basketball. If you think he was in bad shape with the Celtics, times that by 5. At best he'd play three games for the Hawks, then get hurt and sit the rest of the season collecting a check.

In the meantime, I like J-Smoothe at the 5, Marvin @ PF, McGrady @ SF, with a back court of Joe Johnson and Teague.

This is also a horrible idea, this would be a good lineup in spurts, but this starting five is way too small and they'd get destroyed by bigger teams. Can you imagine Josh Smith trying to stop Dwight Howard, Bynum, Gasol or even Cousins down in the post? He'd be in foul trouble half way through the first quarter.



Since: Aug 22, 2006
Posted on: January 12, 2012 6:30 pm
 

Reports: Horford out 3-4 months with torn muscle

Why not contact Utah who is overloaded in frontcourt with Big men (Milsap, Favors(from ATL), Jefferson, Kanter or contact Minnesota about Antony randolph........



Since: Nov 6, 2006
Posted on: January 12, 2012 5:17 pm
 

Reports: Horford out 3-4 months with torn muscle

jray,

Cousins has an attitude problem.... if i were Atlanta mgmt, I would do without Horford for a year before picking up Cousins... so 3-4 months isn't a big deal, especially in a short-season where likely Miami has something to prove.

 



Since: Sep 14, 2010
Posted on: January 12, 2012 5:03 pm
 

Reports: Horford out 3-4 months with torn muscle

why not try and seek a trade for demarcus cousins...
first he his a very capable big man and would fit in nicely for horford and has the same game as al as well as when horford gets back move horford to the 4 spot. this helps the hawks with having to capable big men to mtach with the likes of the lakers clippers and bulls and as we all known he wants out of sac..



Since: Mar 19, 2008
Posted on: January 12, 2012 4:12 pm
 

Reports: Horford out 3-4 months with torn muscle

Why not takle a look @ signing Shaq for the remainder fo the year?  The Hawks almost signed him last year before Boston offered more money.

ZaZa is decent but better off the bench.  Anything is better than Jason Collins.

In the meantime, I like J-Smoothe at the 5, Marvin @ PF, McGrady @ SF, with a back court of Joe Johnson and Teague.




Since: Sep 19, 2008
Posted on: January 12, 2012 4:08 pm
 

Reports: Horford out 3-4 months with torn muscle

Wow.  Just when the Hawks get a decent bench and have a chance to make it further than they have in recent years something like this happens.

Although maybe this will push Hawks management into making a significant move to improve this team.

On the other hand Rick Sund could pull a Frank Wren and decide that we are still a playoff team and a title contender as is.


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