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.
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.