Horford ‘frustrated’ by progess following surgery

Vivlamore reporting from Hawks practice.

Al Horford said Thursday he is “frustrated” by his progress as he works to return from surgery to repair a torn left pectoral muscle.

The Hawks All-Star center went through a full-contract practice with the team.

“Today was the first chance I actually got to play 3-on-3 half-court with the guys and I’m not where I need to be,” Horford said following the workout. “I had a deadline in my mind that I wanted to be back by the last game of the regular season … but I’m not where I need to be. That is a little frustrating for me.

“I’m going to keep trying to work, but I’m not there yet.”

The Hawks have four games remaining in the regular season with the finale a week from today. Horford didn’t put a timetable on his return nor did he offer the chances he could return in time for the start of the playoffs. The postseason would begin for the Hawks either April 28 or 29. However, he made it clear he would continue to work in hopes of seeing  the necessary improvements.

“It’s awkward just because this is only the third time I’ve played with contact,” Horford said. “Once you get moving and doing different stuff that is when you start to realize [how far you have to go] and I feel limited. Any chance we get to practice, I want to get in there. It’s hard because I can’t expect guys to come out and practice just for me. They play every other day. If we get a full practice I’m going to try to get out there and keep progressing.”

Horford said that while he has been working on his game during the rehabilitation process, it’s the physical condition of his shoulder and the nature of the NBA that is the biggest concern.

“When you play in the post you have to have a level of physicality and you have to naturally be able to bang with another player and I’m not confident doing things like that yet,” Horford said. “The other thing is really keeping [my left] arm above [my shoulder] for a certain period of time, that is another weak point for me. Keeping my hands up defensively and if I can’t do that, I’m going to be in trouble. The last thing I want to do is hurt the team.

“It’s very frustrating because I was doing everything on schedule, my rehab was going well. … It’s just tough.”

Hawks coach Larry Drew said Horford will continue to work with the team and that the decision on when he will be able to return rests with the center.

“When he tell us,” Drew said of Horford’s availability.

204 comments Add your comment

Rod from College Park

April 19th, 2012
12:45 pm

Horford won’t be back. Let’s get over it.

glw

April 19th, 2012
12:49 pm

Horford is a warrior, he will be back. I do worry about him going against a physical team like the Celtics. If I had to guess, I figure he plays by Game 3 or 4 of the playoffs.

Priest Lauderdale

April 19th, 2012
12:51 pm

No Rod, let’s keep talking about it

jlewis

April 19th, 2012
12:54 pm

As long as ZaZa comes back, and get the other bodies, the Hawks will be fine. Myself and others said on this blog that losing Horford was not a death sentence for the team, although some thought we might miss the playoffs. Horford would get in Josh’s way, he is much better in the post than Al and is a better rebounder. Other than maybe a little depth, which Ivan provides, I dont see the big deal.

City Of Atlanta Still Recovering From William Tecumseh Sherman

April 19th, 2012
12:59 pm

Just sit out for the rest of the playoffs too dont want to risk more injuries

dirty south bird

April 19th, 2012
1:12 pm

he will be back for the 2nd round-game 3…i put money on it, cuz i know its true

glw

April 19th, 2012
1:12 pm

j lewis,

I think Horford could end up being a big deal assuming we play Celtics. The Celtics are going to send Bradley and Iso stopper Pietrus at Joe. I dont expect Joe will have a great series, they are going to make anyone other than Joe beat them. And if you remember in our last game against Boston…..Pargo, Green, and Marvin couldnt hit a shot to save their lives, so having a guy we can put into the game like Horford who can knock down a mid range jumper will be vital. That is the one trait that he can bring above all our other bigs.

Heisenberg

April 19th, 2012
1:13 pm

Even now he would probably be more useful than Collins and/or Dampier.

SteveW

April 19th, 2012
1:15 pm

Now I do agree if Josh plays in that “zone” where he gets in the post, attacks, and passes out on occasion, the Hawks look as good as any team on the planet.

He just doesn’t stay in that zone very often.

And I’ve always wanted us to try the Marvin-Theo Ratliff experiment. Ratliff was built like Marvin; thin, long arms, maybe an inch or two taller.

Stick Marvin in the low post, especially in the middle of a zone, and tell him to attack the ball and shooter when it comes in the lane. He’s quicker than most C’s would be in responding to a pass off the attack also.

I know he’s been a failure as a #2 pick, and a 40 mill. contract. But I’ve often wondered if Marvin could be Theo. Then at least your getting an athletic shot blocker in the middle. And if he added a little bulk, he wouldn’t get pushed around by the bigger guys that bad. The NBA is short on Centers right now, so there’s not that many bigger guys to push him around really.

I would try Marvin as backup C during training camp, just to see what he could do.

Najeh – I guess I’m not as sold as you are on having ZaZa on the floor at crunch time. Maybe the Denver loss lingers a little to close.

If Ivan was a little more mature and careful with the ball, I would say our closing team should be Teague, JJ, Josh, TMac and Ivan. A big C could possibly push Ivan around, but not to many of them could. But Ivan can get careless with the ball a little to much sometimes, and on occasion makes poor decisions again just a little to much for my taste.

I do think TMac, Ivan, and Josh could rebound just fine.

I hate to see Marvin closing out games. Too many clanked wide open jumpers at clutch time for me throughout his career. Sigh

Our biggest mismatch against Boston. Doc vs LD

I think that alone may cost us the series.

And if you gave Doc the Hawks, and LD the Celtics, I still think Doc’s team wins.

But here’s hoping…. 4 straight trips to the Semi’s would be nice in a win starved city.

Hawks postseason way better than the Falcons postseasons recently.

O'brien

April 19th, 2012
1:17 pm

“When you play in the post you have to have a level of physicality and you have to be able to bang with another player and I’m not confident doing things like that yet,” Horford said..

Even when he was healthy, I’m not sure how confident he was.

But I dont think anybody is expecting anything from Al this year. As a player, I’m sure he wants to come back and help his team, even if he is only at 75%. But long term, I think both Al and the team is better off just gettng ready for next season.

FTPB,

Najeh,

I think another reason Dumars gets to stay so long is because he also won championships as a Piston himself.

O'brien

April 19th, 2012
1:19 pm

Steve W,

Agreed. If Doc Rivers or Popovich was coaching this team, I would like our chances of getting to the ECF. As a matter of fact, I would have been okay with Thibs from Chicago too, because his players buy into his defensive system. And if you can defend, and rebound consistently I think you will always have a chance.

Big Lou

April 19th, 2012
1:21 pm

Big Lou

April 19th, 2012
1:11 pm

“I hate to see Marvin closing out games. Too many clanked wide open jumpers at clutch time for me throughout his career. Sigh”

Why are they shooting jump-shots in the first place? If Marvin doesn’t close out the game, Pierce will win it himself. I just don’t trust JJ’s defense compared to Marvin’s proven past. There is a simple solution to your dilemma. DONT PASS THE DANG BALL TO MARVIN ON THE PERIMETER!

Big Lou

April 19th, 2012
1:15 pm

“Our biggest mismatch against Boston. Doc vs LD”

This is the thread winner. I want to see if LD can make adjustments this post season. Last one was his first, so I’ll give him a pass on being stubborn with CHI.

“Hawks postseason way better than the Falcons postseasons recently.”

That’s like saying one team doesn’t suck as much, but they both suck in the end. One just makes it one step further into mediocrity.

SteveW

April 19th, 2012
1:27 pm

Big Lou – You have to pass Marvin the ball on the perimeter if he’s open. That’s just smart basketball. If your doubled, somebody is open. And your taught since middle school to find the open man.

Then you trust your teammate to make the correct decision with the ball. You cannot play basketball having to “protect” a player from themselves.

That is what was destroying the Hawks last season in those horrible blowouts – they had 1 or 2 guys who needed “protecting” on D, and it burnt us badly.

If Marvin’s open, the only smart BB play is to swing it to him. Now he can be coached to cut to the basket, or position himself closer to the basket. Or to set screens.

But taking on a double team is courting basketball disaster.

But agreed – we probably do need Marvin on PP in crunch time. And that’s probably why we couldn’t score the last 5 minutes of our last game against them, and 2 pts. in OT, I don’t remember if Marvin was in the game or not.

Sigh.

Teach Marvin to attack the basket. But then he injures his back oftentimes, and no Marvin – so back to square 1.

Sigh.

Trying to Coach the Hawks those last 5 minutes of a game is a tall task. Just not built with a closer.

TMac – great, oft injured, not much on D maybe.

Marvin – better on D, usually brings you nothing else

Teague – Get’s passive, sometimes JJ and Josh commandeer the ball and make him passive.

JJ – Pound, pound, pound, pound…

Josh – Just not a go to scoring guy – but our O should run thru him the last 5 minutes of the game. Unless he’s jumper happy.

SteveW

April 19th, 2012
1:30 pm

Hinrich at crunch time? Not so much. Green? If he’s smokin’ hot, great. If not, big D liability. Pargo? Yes, but D liability, streaky, and makes you play small.

The Hawks are built for alot of things. Closing out BB games is not one of them.

TMac is our best option, unless Green, Pargo or somebody is smokin’ like they can.

Big Lou

April 19th, 2012
1:31 pm

“But agreed – we probably do need Marvin on PP in crunch time. And that’s probably why we couldn’t score the last 5 minutes of our last game against them, and 2 pts. in OT, I don’t remember if Marvin was in the game or not.”

Yes, he was.

No. They couldn’t score because LD’s ‘game plan’ was to pass to Joe Johnson for ISO brick. For the life of me, I do not understand why they don’t feed Josh in the post or have Teague drive/kick. Or here’s even a better idea, set up a play for Joe, but have him coming off screens. LD’s predictability is what cost the Hawks the game.

Big Lou

April 19th, 2012
1:32 pm

“Closing out BB games is not one of them.”

Again. You are wrong about this. They can close games if they run the right plays. The issue is that they just pass to Joe on the top of the key and expect him to dribble through a double team for the game winner.

BIG DOG

April 19th, 2012
1:35 pm

Horford take your time bro, us true Hawks fans support you and wish you the best, get better and take your time before coming back, 100percent is the Horford we need not 80percent.

BIG DOG IN THE HOUSE

Big Lou

April 19th, 2012
1:36 pm

How many times this year have the fans(us) give a collective grunt when LD calls a stupid play at the end of the game… or doesn’t take advantage of a match up… or try to foul out the other players?

The issue was never the talent.

BIG DOG

April 19th, 2012
1:36 pm

GET BETTER HORFORD.

BIG DOG IN THE HOUSE

Heisenberg

April 19th, 2012
1:36 pm

What I find frustrating about Hawks in crunch time is the sloppy ball handling. I almost expect someone to dribble off their foot. Would rather see running some crisp plays with cutting and passing over dribble isolation.

I like Marvin coming off the bench. He seems more productive with second unit. But way to soft to play the 5.

BIG DOG

April 19th, 2012
1:43 pm

If im Horford i would wait until second round before coming back.

Hawks will destroy Celtics in 5 so Horford will not be needed in first round.

But second round if Horford is ready along with Zaza we will go 2 the NBA finals.

BIG DOG IN THE HOUSE

BIG DOG

April 19th, 2012
1:47 pm

Teague, Joe, Josh, Horford, Zaza

vs

Rose, Hamilton, Deng, Boozer, Noah

Hawks dominate the paint and beat the Bulls in 6.

BIG DOG IN THE HOUSE

Jesse

April 19th, 2012
2:00 pm

Smith is playing so much better without him, do we want him back? I know we do, but I want them to keep going to Josh in the post like they are doing.

BIG DOG

April 19th, 2012
2:12 pm

Jesse thats the key you move Josh SF he would destroy Deng in the post all day.

Josh might AVG 25points in the playoffs at SF specially in the post.

BIG DOG IN THE HOUSE

doc

April 19th, 2012
2:13 pm

it would be super human for al to come back this early. not sure he shpuld until measured full range of motion and strength level to the other arm. like astor said some will take issue and call him soft if he doesnt make it.

interesting concerns about our attendance. tough year to be a fan, like baseball. string 5 straight home games in nine days precludes some one having a life. stern milked it out of us for an inferior product due to injuries and players havng to take games off t rest during yhe season. funniest was pops preparing a dnp on duncan as “dnp-old”.

pp gets into foul trouble against the hawks s i hope the trend contines friday.

f u guys for any disagreements old or new. thanks rev for the grace of it all.

similar probs elsewhere. read about it in pacer land:

http://offthedribble.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/04/14/pacers-thriving-on-court-not-at-gate/?ref=sports

BIG DOG

April 19th, 2012
2:13 pm

Big lineup would be to much for the Bulls in the playoffs.

BIG DOG IN THE HOUSE

Hoops

April 19th, 2012
2:18 pm

With or wothout Horford the Hawks beat the Celtics in the first round. Then it’s on to Chicago!

Dawg

April 19th, 2012
2:23 pm

It is debatable if we would be better or not if he came back. If there is any question, let him sit and heal. Perhaps we can use him in tandem with Paculia and one other LEGIT center next year.

drmaryb.[*_*].

April 19th, 2012
2:28 pm

For the last time for the hard of hearing and resing comprehension: Horford sustained a 12 month (down time) injury. If you can not understand this simple fact, then ’sux being you’.

My newest concern is that Zaza will not be able to return this post season either, (see Marvin).

We are going to have to go to war with what we got and, just deal with the facts. I sure hope I’m wrong about Zaza but, from the org? Mums the word. I would like to see the org use an injury exception, waive Dampieer and sign a useful big man, who can defend the post and rebound on both ends, (at least 7 boards per). We need a Haslem on the end of that bench where Dampieer is “occupying Atlanta”.

We will not get past round two either way, but what’s new? That was never the plan from the start.

If you want to see a team here in Atlanta that is built to win a championship, I reccommend you check out The Atlanta Dream – WNBA. Women are fundamentally sound in every aspect of the game because, they play the right way, between the ears, have more heart, rely on fundamental skills and, below the rim.

Ya heard?

drmaryb.[*_*].

April 19th, 2012
2:29 pm

* and, LACK of READING comprehension …

jlewis

April 19th, 2012
2:44 pm

drmaryb:

I have to disagree on the point about girls being more fundamentally sound, thats the perception, but not necessarily the truth. I have followed circuit basketball the last couple of years, the highest level and many girls lack instinct because of their inability to play pick up basketball. The girls game in a lot of instances is the Detroit Pistons, throw it in the post and try to get a foul call. Many girls do not shoot it well, thats why the WNBA has floundered, its ugly, and many girls that play cant stand to watch it themselves.

BIG DOG

April 19th, 2012
2:45 pm

drmaryb – Miss Doctor Maryb who say so .

HA

BIG DOG IN THE HOUSE

PD

April 19th, 2012
2:46 pm

They should have kept Keith Benson instead of signing Dampier

Najeh Davenpoop

April 19th, 2012
2:47 pm

FTPB

Shot blocking is an instinct. A lot of athletic players were/are never great shot blockers because they didn’t have the instinct or timing — see Tyson Chandler and Blake Griffin. Marvin may have the body type of Theo Ratliff (I think this is debatable, but that’s beside the point) but he has never consistently shown the shot blocking instincts to where he could fill such a role.

PD

April 19th, 2012
2:48 pm

This is going to be a rough match-up for the Hawks. Celtics are old but they are very crafty and efficient.

Najeh Davenpoop

April 19th, 2012
2:50 pm

Nice link about the Pacers’ attendance, doc. The story is the same everywhere. Get superstars and the attendance goes up. Even in podunk Indiana.

jlewis

April 19th, 2012
2:51 pm

Indiana has superstars? lol

Chris Vivlamore

April 19th, 2012
2:57 pm

Went back and cleaned up the Horford quotes after rush to get the story posted. Not much different.

drmaryb.[*_*].

April 19th, 2012
2:58 pm

IMHO, if Al Horford was not a world class athlete, then sure he might be able to return to work on some other type job in 4 or 5 months. But, like Joe Johnson said last year, “This is the NBA man.”

From Al’s comments on here, he seems to be tentative between the ears as well. To get that confidence level back up, I reccommend he work with a sports psychologist before he returns next year. I suggested this when I first heard about the severity of his injury. If I were him, I sure know I would need that because, wellness encompasses the:

Mind
Body
Spirit

In that order. The human brain, (the greatest gift God gave man) controls every nerve, cell and tissue in the human body. You have to address all three, but it all begins with getting the mind right. Phil Jackson unsterstood this and, always assigned his players to read selected books on the plane rides in lieu of playing “Tunk”, video games and other mindless activities.

That’s the difference between champions and the extras. I’m just saying, the human being is more than the physcial, the human being is dynamic.
_______

Get Well Soon Al and, take your time bruh. Basketball is just not that important in the grand scheme of life. Forget about these rabid, irrational owners and fans – they don’t care about you.

Chris Vivlamore

April 19th, 2012
3:00 pm

As an update, Drew still calling Pachulia and Dampier “day-to-day.” Pachulia did not practice Thursday but worked with trainers on the side.

Slimjr

April 19th, 2012
3:03 pm

drmaryb on fire!

Slimjr

April 19th, 2012
3:05 pm

Prediction, Paul will get the contact calls and Marvin will be in foul trouble in no time during these playoff match ups… Regular season and playoffs are two different animals got it? Got it….

Slimjr

April 19th, 2012
3:09 pm

Sund’s lack of quality bigs acquisitions are about to come back and bit him in the butt?

Slimjr

April 19th, 2012
3:10 pm

doc

April 19th, 2012
3:11 pm

yeah najeh, sometimes we get so self absorbed in our own teams we dont see what happens elsewhere. it is why i tend to look around to see what is happening and how it reflects on us one way or the other.

if that is the only formula having a superstar that gets fans out; one, it doesnt say much for the fans and second, there arent enough superstars around. especially, when they get shunted to big markets or group together because they are afraid to compete on their own. that is why i admire the duncans, dallas’ and durants in this league and not the queens, celts and heat for big spenders. fortunately there are the nets and knicks to balance out the folly of just spending or wanting to. i especially admire the experiment of george karl wanting and professing the desire to show it can be done with 10 good players, whether he makes it or not.

SteveW

April 19th, 2012
3:14 pm

Big Lou – I agree with you kinda – We don’t have folks with closer mentality on this team. Iso is all, and only against bad teams.

But could we if we ran the correct plays? Yes, of course. But this is the NBA, and plays are only run on an after TO basis – 1 play, that’s it.

The rest is just letting the players play. So in theory you are correct. If this was college, you would be correct. And for 1 play after a TO you are correct.

But in the NBA, for the last 5-6 minutes of the game, you are not correct.

Najeh – I guess I’m thinking about that highlight block Marvin had against Rose last season, and actually a couple of more times the last two seasons, where Marvin has absolutely had impeccable timing and athleticism to make crazy blocks. I think he had one on LeBron either earlier this season, or last season.

I used to be a shotblocker, and he can do it if he wants to.

But he’s not much on the mid-air blocks – grant you that. Maybe he is missing that.

But if he’d broaden his shoulders a little bit, he’d be nearly Theo – except for a couple of inches in height. He’s got plenty of length.

Heisenberg

April 19th, 2012
3:14 pm

Danny Granger is a stud. Mayne a notch below superstar, but a stud. Indiana attandance is driven by the fact basketball there is religion – not sport.

Heisenberg

April 19th, 2012
3:16 pm

Even if Marvin got bigger shoulders, he does not have the interior tough guy style that role requires.

SteveW

April 19th, 2012
3:17 pm

Doc – You said – “i especially admire the experiment of george karl wanting and professing the desire to show it can be done with 10 good players, whether he makes it or not.”

This is officially the Detroit, Sund, and ASG model. Glad you like it.

SteveW

April 19th, 2012
3:20 pm

Theo is 6.875 w/o shoes, and played his career between 215 (early) and 235 (later).

I’m not sure how he and Marvin are not similar physically.