Three hours before tip-off, three hours before the performance that would reaffirm what Al Horford means to this basketball team, the Hawks’ center had no idea if he would be able to play.
“I got to the arena around 5 o’clock, and I didn’t know if I was going to play,” Horford said in a corner of the locker room late Tuesday night. “It was pregame. I was real uncertain. I was feeling tight. I couldn’t get my full range of motion in my pec and my shoulder.”
The Hawks already were in relative crisis mode. They were down 3-1 in a playoff series that they had once led 1-0. They had flat-lined in Game 4 in Boston. Now Horford can’t play?
The only thing preventing this from devolving into slapstick would’ve been Alan Henderson walking through the door and saying, “Don’t worry guys, I got this” (before sneezing and throwing his back out again).
Fortunately, tragic comedy was