Before the 2013-14 NBA season, the Atlanta Hawks were a team that I had penciled in as a top-four squad in the Eastern Conference. Now, we are 29 games through the regular season and the Hawks are currently the third-best team in the East with a 16-13 overall record. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like Atlanta stands much of a chance at dethroning the Miami Heat in this year’s postseason.
On Thursday, Al Horford was diagnosed with a torn right pectoral muscle, which is an injury that will likely keep him out of action for the rest of the year. Moreover, Atlanta is bound to take a nosedive with their best player on the sidelines. Even though Horford has to be depleted over such an injury, he must know that this Atlanta team wasn’t doing much in 2013.
Besides, this injury will also offer a great learning experience for first-year head coach Mike Budenholzer, who will now have to be creative when captaining the weakened Hawks. In addition, the Hawks should also rise in terms of draft position. The 2014 NBA Draft is supposed to be one of infinite talent, which is something Atlanta could definitely use.
Thankfully, Horford is under contract for three more years after the 2013 campaign, so hopefully he’s still with the Hawks once the franchise is back atop the Eastern Conference.