Friday, January 13, 2012

Hardwood Paroxysm: Let's Get Irrationally Angry About Al Horford's Shoulder Injury

The one, the only, Noam Schiller:
The world has become a cold, dark place today.

Al Horford was the thing. He was the one thing. A pit of darkness, despair and isolation basketball lives in the depths of the Phillips Arena, rearing its ugly head 82 nights, plus playoffs, every year. In the form of a Mike Bibby or a Willie Green, a 20 second Joe Johnson dribble-fest or a Josh Smith tease, it was always there, ready to suck the life out of us. On a Tuesday night against the Nets, or in the middle of May against the Bulls, it was and still is awful.

And Al Horford was here to protect us. They tried to stop him. They wouldn’t pass him the ball, and they’d let him defend bigger players, and yet he was there. Knocking down that baseline 20 footer. Hedging on that pick and roll.

He won’t be doing that anymore, this season. Enjoy Zaza Pachulia.

If you think this is harsh, don’t. I love Jeff Teague, I do. Josh Smith is one of the most fascinating basketball players to exist in my lifetime, a trainwreck wrapped in an angelic presence marinated in nutjob sauce sprinkled with world-class athleticism tied together by a headband. Joe Johnson is acceptable, I guess, and Ivan Johnson is the new “I CAN’T BELIEVE HE’S AN NBA PLAYER I LOVE HIM SO MUCH LET’S TYPE HIS NAME ALL THE TIME” dude. And we respect each and every one of them, what they do on basketball courts, what they give us as fans.

We also hate watching it. We didn’t hate watching Al Horford. We loved watching Al Horford.

Stupid lockout.


Unknown said...

I'm sure the Hawks will be alright without him. In all honesty, horford had started forgetting about his roots in the paint choosing to instead circle around the perimeter instead.

Bret LaGree said...

Jeffrey --

59% of Horford's field goal attempts this season came at the rim. 68% of his field goal attempts this season came inside of 10 feet. Last season those rates were 26% and 46%, respectively.

One could honestly argue that Horford wasn't shooting often enough this season but to continue to complain about Horford shooting too much from perimeter this season speaks either to your willful ignorance or disingenuousness.

JoMo said...

This article is comical and truthful at the same time. I'm a true Hawks fan so I really hate to admit it has validity. I've always understood why many critique the team the way they do. I don't understand why Smooth doesn't dunk on 5 different guys every night, or why it took so long for Jeff to get regular minutes. In fact, I thought the same about Acie Law. They had the same potential starting, but Woodie never gave the man a chance. Now, where is Mr. Law? Joe dribbles like that because Woodson allowed that crap for what 5 seasons! With all that being said, Coach Drew is doing a better job than Woodson ever did considering they have the same team.

I think this injury is a reflection of the lockout and all these back to back to back to back to back to back to back games!

I've always thought Al should play the 4 and hopefully this forces the team to make that adjustment. He would be the best 4 in the East, and Josh can just play the 3 since that jump shot is clearly like crack cocaine to him. Hey, they have been falling lately anyway, so we might as well accept that he will continue to shoot it. Yes, I said it! Let the man shoot. We know how hard addition is to overcome! Unless he goes through a 12 step program, its going to happen.

With all that being said, I think the Hawks can get by a few more games without signing another 5. If Phoenix can play small the way they do, then so can the Hawks. I say let them fun coach!

JoMo said...

Let them run!

Bret LaGree said...

JoMo --

Agreed. Any minutes that Ivan Johnson or Josh Smith get at the 5 will provide a tonic for Horford's absence. Aesthetically if not in measurable terms.