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.
LeBron James sat out the Cavs’ preseason game against the Sixers on Thursday night, but Cleveland still held the lead for all but the final 5.4 seconds. Then, Sixers rookie Scottie Wilbekin did this:
Wilbekin, who played college ball at Florida, has a chance to earn legitimate minutes for the Sixers this season as they try to find young talent on the cheap. This is a good start.
Eight days ago, Derrick Rose had surgery to repair a fractured orbital bone suffered in training camp. The Bulls said he would be ready to resume basketball activities in two weeks, and in the meantime will rejoin practice soon. That part is still on schedule — head coach Fred Hoiberg says Rose will be with the team when they return to Chicago on Monday following a two-game preseason road trip, but unless the swelling in his eye dies down, it could be a little longer before he can start practicing again.
Via K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune:
It’s not ideal, but since there’s no structural damage to Rose’s face, once he’s cleared to resume practicing, it’s just a matter of getting back into game shape before he can start playing in games. The team is still optimistic he’ll be able to play opening night against the Cavaliers on October 27.