The Atlanta Hawks suffer an even bigger blow to their possible championship hopes this season as the Associated Press is reporting that center Al Horford is slated to miss the entire first round of the NBA Playoffs. Horford had surgery this season to repair a torn left pectoral muscle.
There was much debate on whether or not Horford will be able to go at all for the first round and it is not until Wednesday that the Hawks learned about Horford’s status.
Horford told the Associated Press:
“I have very, very little strength,” he conceded. “The playoffs are intense. The intensity goes way up. I can go in and play with the guys in practice here. I might even be able to play in a regular-season game. But the playoffs are different. The way I play, to be most effective to the team, I’m not at that point yet.”
Currently, the Hawks are slated to face the always challenging Boston Celtics. Zaza Pachulia is expected to fill the void that has been left by Horford and he has been filling that void nicely. This season, Pachulia has played in 58 games for the Hawks this year and has averaged 7.8 points and 7.9 rebounds per game.
Horford has only played in 11 games this season before being injured. He averaged 12.4 points and seven rebounds per game this season. His presence down low will definitely be missed and it something they will need if they play the Celtics in the first round.