The Atlanta Hawks are down 3-1 to the Boston Celtics and will face possible elimination tonight as this series resumes in Atlanta. However, if the Hawks are going to stave off elimination, they might have to do it without the services of center Al Horford.
Despite being one of the few members of the Hawks to actually show up in Game 3, Horford is says he is unsure if he will play tonight.
“We’ll see how I feel tomorrow,” he said. “Either way I’m going to be supporting the team. If I can play I will. If not, then I’ll be there to support them like I have all year.”
Pretty interesting considering Horford finished with 12 points, and five rebounds in a solid return to the court for the Hawks after dealing with a pectoral injury. But for Horford, it is all about being able to contribute at the All-Star level he knows he can.
Keep in mind, Horford has been out of action for over three months and surprised many with his return in Game 3. However, he still was able to have a good game against one of the better teams in the East.
“He said he did feel pretty good, and I thought he did a good job coming back after being gone for three-plus months,” said coach Larry Drew.
In the end, Horford wants to be able to contribute as he was prior to the injury. But with Atlanta facing the brink of elimination, not playing and not being there for his team seems to be counter-intuitive.
On one hand, he had a productive first game back. On the other hand, he might be letting his pride in the way of playing tonight. And on another hand, how does he expect to get back to form if he doesn’t get back on the court regardless if this might be Atlanta’s final game of the season?
Nevertheless, at this point in the Hawks’ season, one would think having Al on the court, regardless if he is playing at an All-Star level, is better than not having him on the court. He is still a big body to throw at Kevin Garnett, a low post-scorer, rebounder, and overall defensive presence. Even if he is not at 100%.
Now it would be different if he simply re-aggravated his injury or had a horrific performance in Game 3 but he didn’t.
I say push pride aside Al and play tonight.