With the Atlanta Hawks and veteran forward Josh Smith essentially agreeing to part ways this summer as Smith hit free agency, the Hawks were obviously going to have a different look for the 2013-14 NBA season. However, many people expected that a familiar face in big man Al Horford would be their go-to-guy coming into this season.
However, through the first three games of the young NBA season, Horford hasn’t been featured nearly as prominently as I expected he would be and, to be frank, hasn’t been all that productive to start the year, offensively at least.
In fairness, Horford has been pretty great on the defensive end of the floor with both his statistical production and the subtleties that stats miss. Through three games he is leading the team in rebounding at 12.3 per game while also adding 2.3 steals and two blocks per game. There’s no question he’s been a huge asset on that end of the floor, but his offense hasn’t matched that level of play.
Through three games, Horford is averaging only 15 points and two assists on the offensive end of the floor, both noticeable declined from his production last season. Moreover, Horford’s efficiency has dropped as well early on as his true shooting percentage sits at just 51 percent, six points lower than his career average.
Horford’s offensive game hasn’t been what the Hawks would like it to be early on, but neither has the Hawks’ offense as a whole. It’s clear this team is still adjusting to the new offense under new head coach Mike Budenholzer and hasn’t hit their stride yet. As the team adjusts to a new coach and to each other as well, I’d expect Horford to pick up where he left off last season.