Crappy news for the Hawks/NBA yesterday as Al Horford tore his pectoral muscle (his 2nd time suffering this injury in the past three seasons).
Horford had been averaging 18.6 points, 8.4 boards and 1.5 blocks for the 16-13 Hawks, and now his 33 minutes per game will likely be given to Gustavo Ayon and Elton Brand. It's likely that the injury will end Horford's season, as there's only 3.5 months remaining, and a torn pec is normally close to a six month injury (Horford came back in four months in 2011-12 and that was considered an amazingly quick timetable).
What does this mean for the Celtics?
Well, in last summer's Pierce/KG deal, the Celtics acquired a 1st round pick from the Nets in 2014. The only thing is, the Hawks have the ability to switch picks with the Nets (courtesy the Joe Johnson trade), meaning that Boston would currently receive Atlanta's pick (#20 overall). This injury will likely cause that pick to gain some value, unless the Nets wake up (and the Jason Kidd situation isn't getting any better), or the Hawks can keep winning without their best player.
While Paul Millsap and Jeff Teague should prevent Atlanta from completely plummeting in the standings, the drop off from Horford to Ayon/Brand will undoubtedly hurt the Hawks. And that should help Boston's draft position.
Of course, in this bizarro world NBA season, where the 12-17 Celtics are currently in line to make the playoffs, who the hell knows what's going to happen.
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For more of my articles, click here Michael Dyer 12/28/2013 12:21:00 PM Tweet