“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” – Dr. Suess
I’m just going to cry, thank you very much.
In a press release from the Atlanta Hawks, it was announced that center Al Horford will be out indefinitely due to a complete tear of his right pectoral muscle. Horford suffered the injury during last night’s road game at Cleveland, and had to miss 71 regular season games because of an injury to his left pectoral in the 2012 NBA season.
Horford’s been the centerpiece of the Hawks this season, on both ends of the court. Horford is currently averaging 18.6 points, 8.4 rebounds and 2.6 assists a night on 56.7% shooting from the field. The Hawks also allowed 4.8 fewer points per 100 possessions with Horford on the floor as opposed to on the bench. All that said, Horford not being named an All-Star this year would have come as a shock.
According to said Hawks release, general manager Danny Ferry had this to say on the injury: “We will work with Al and complete our due diligence to determine the next best steps for him,” and that “Injuries are part of the challenge of an NBA season.”
With the Hawks in a mixture of a rebuilding/competing direction, it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what the right move is here. I’d like to see Horford not play another game this season – or postseason – until 200% healthy given his impact on the squad and place in the team’s core. Although I can’t see it being a possibility, a panic trade wouldn’t be a move I’d entertain unless Atlanta can pull a quick one and nab a decent replacement without having to give up much of anything.
Assuming no roster changes outside of a small signing happens, winning basketball games just got a lot tougher for the Hawks – who are coming off of a big gut-check win over the Cavaliers. We can expect more minutes for Elton Brand and Pero Antic, with no inclination as to who will start. We could see more small-ball with Millsap at the center, something we’ve seen lose to nothing of.
In more injury news, DeMarre Carroll is day-to-day after sustaining a right thumb sprain in the Hawks’ win over Cleveland. X-Rays were negative, meaning Atlanta shouldn’t be missing Carroll for too long.