This is a punch to the gut in Atlanta. The Hawks have gotten off to a good start — 7-4 record and ranked in the league’s top 10 in both offensive and defensive efficiency.
But now they lose All-Star center Al Horford until almost the start of the playoffs if not the entire rest of the season due to a torn pectoral muscle, according to multiple reports.
Marc Spears of Yahoo reports Horford will be out three to four months. Zach Klein, the sports director at WBS in Atlanta, tweets that Horford is pretty much done for the year.
Even the optimistic three months takes Horford into early April, just a couple weeks before the playoffs start. If it takes four months the Hawks may not make the playoffs and even if they did Horford would miss the first round and it’s hard to see them getting out of that round without him.
The injury happened when the Pacers Roy Hibbert blocked a Horford dunk attempt.
Horford is the second best center in the East, brining the Hawks 12.4 points and 7 rebounds a game while shooting and efficient 55.3 percent. Really Horford should be playing the four but the Hawks have forced him to be the center most of his career and he has responded well to the challenge.
Without Horford you’ll see a lot more Zaza Pachilia and Jason Collins. Good luck with that.
With so much focus in recent weeks being on NBA players speaking out on social issues, it’s worth remembering that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has been one of the most vocal athletes in America on these things for decades. The Hall of Fame and all-time leading scorer in NBA history addressed the Democratic National Convention on Thursday evening, urging voters to vote for Hillary Clinton in November, and opened his remarks by introducing himself as Michael Jordan, because “Donald Trump couldn’t tell the difference.”
You can watch the video of his speech below:
In the weeks since Kevin Durant announced he was signing with the Golden State Warriors, we have yet to hear Russell Westbrook speak on his former teammate’s decision. This week, ESPN.com’s Royce Young indicated in a podcast interview that Durant was telling Westbrook and others in the days leading up to his decision that he was coming back to Oklahoma City. He later walked back his report, saying he misspoke. On Thursday, Durant himself told The Vertical‘s Shams Charania that he never said any such thing, or misled Westbrook or anyone else about his intentions.
“It’s false,” Durant told The Vertical on Thursday. “I didn’t say that – words about me telling Russell or Nick that I would stay or leave never came out of my mouth. We met as teammates, but no promises came out of it. In this day and age, I can’t control anything people claim out there. Someone can go out and say something random right now, and people will believe it.
“I never told Russell or Nick [Collison], ‘All right, guys, I’m coming back to the Thunder’ – and then a week later, I decide not to. Never happened. I don’t operate like that. I heard people say that story, but it’s not the truth.”
So that settles that.
CHICAGO (AP) The Chicago Bulls have signed guard Spencer Dinwiddie.
The Bulls acquired Dinwiddie in a trade with Detroit last month and waived him three weeks ago. He spent two years with the Pistons and appeared in 12 games last season, averaging 4.8 points and 13.3 minutes.
The Bulls announced the move Thursday.