Dec 27, 2013, 6:31 PM EST
One of only three teams in the Eastern Conference over .500 is now without its star player for a significant amount of time.
The Atlanta Hawks confirmed that Al Horford completely tore his right pectoral muscle on the play above, a simple defensive effort trying to deny an inbounds pass during the overtime of the Hawks/Cavs game Thursday. Ken Berger of CBSSports.com first reported this was potentially the case.
Horford was clearly in a lot of pain when the injury happened and it didn’t look like a minor tweak. Berger reminds us Horford has been down this road before.
He suffered a torn left pectoral muscle in January 2012, only 11 games into the lockout-shortened season. He returned for three playoff games in May, almost four months later.
Horford has been playing the best ball of his career this season, leading the Hawks averaging 18.6 points a game on 56.7 percent of his shots (he has a true shooting percentage of 58.8 percent) and pulling down 8.4 rebounds a game. He has paired well with Paul Millsap up front in an undersized but strong front line.
With Horford out for a while, the Hawks will lean on Elton Brand and Pero Antic — but that is a steep drop off in talent, particularly at the offensive end, which may have them looking to make a trade.
What have we done to anger the basketball gods to have this rash of injuries to elite players this season?
- Report: Tom Thibodeau’s relationship with Bulls management believed to be ‘beyond repair’ 0
- Dwight Howard out at least two games with swelling in his knee 3
- Five Things We Learned in NBA Wednesday: Is this rock bottom for Oklahoma City? 5
- He’s on Fire! Kyrie Irving scores 55, knocks down game winning three (VIDEO) 48
- LeBron James out Wednesday vs. Blazers with wrist injury 6
- Home-court advantage means less than ever in NBA. Why? 18
- Nikola Mirotic’s unique style rewarding Bulls for waiting on him 17
- What We Learned in NBA Tuesday Night: Bulls fans should want more of this attacking Derrick Rose 28