Friday, September 02, 2011

Al Horford as a First Offensive Option

I haven't seen a second of the FIBA Americas tournament and doubt that we should take too much away from a competition that's significantly different from NBA basketball but John Schuhmann's report on Canada's 73-72 upset of the Dominican Republic offers little encouragement that Al Horford is ready to be a first offensive option for a successful team:
Al Horford finished with 17 points and 11 rebounds, but shot just 5-for-16 from the field. Canada swarmed him whenever he got the ball inside, willing to let his teammates try to beat them.
Basketball's a game of context so, from a Hawks-centric perspective, there's a difference in how teams will defend Horford when he's playing alongside Francisco Garcia and Charlie Villanueva* than when he's playing alongside Joe Johnson and Josh Smith.

*Schuhmann, again:
At this point, it’s no longer newsworthy that both Francisco Garcia and Charlie Villanueva have been awful in this tournament. Garcia scored 12 points, but six of them came in the final four seconds on threes that didn’t affect the outcome. Villanueva had four fouls and four turnovers in eight minutes. Going forward, we’ll note Garcia’s or Villanueva’s play when they actually perform like one of the most talented players on the floor.

5 comments:

JT said...

Charlie Villaneuva is a joke!!!! That guy's like the Hispanic Derrick Coleman. Like Coleman, he's bald and has amazing basketball skills and athleticism for a player his size; however, he's soft in the paint and would pefer to play in the perimeter.

Andrew Buyea said...

not about this article, but i was wondering if you could please elaborate on how you question jason kidd ever having been a star?
The man was the best pure point guard in the game at his peak, and took some rough new jersey nets teams to the finals, he has managed to play at a high level since he was rookie of the year...I'm just in shock you could say this on espn.com

Bret LaGree said...

Andrew --

I interpreted "star" in that question more in terms of fame than quality of play. Kidd's value comes from passing, defense and rebounding, all traits which tend to lag behind scoring in drawing attention to a player.

I did not intend to disparage Jason Kidd's outstanding career.

pointguardslim said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

The South American players defending him are 6'8.

Horford's value comes from passing, defense and rebounding, all traits which tend to lag behind scoring in drawing attention to a power forward.

The fact that he was nominated to Star as a center does not do much for postseason success. He was not drafted to be a go-to-scorer but a defensive anchor and center. His straight power approach won't work and Josh Smith trades constantly get us lowballed. With the new CBA approaching we have some tough choices to make as far as attaining post season glory.