Al Horford Expects To Be Out For The Playoffs

ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 01: Paul Pierce #34 of the Boston Celtics shoots against Al Horford #15 of the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena on April 1, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

According to Marc J. Spears at Yahoo! Sports, Al Horford doesn't expect to play in the first round against the Celtics:

I don't feel like it is realistic that I can play for the playoffs. Obviously, if we advance and start going we will see. But as of right now the way I feel I think I am out for the playoffs.

He hasn't played since January 11th with a torn left pectoral muscle and the Hawks have played very well without him but this is a big break for the C's. Not only is he a bear on the boards and another big body for KG and Bass to deal with, but I've always felt that he had a calming effect on the Hawks. Atlanta (specifically Joe Johnson and Joe Smith) can be very susceptible to one-one-one, anything-you-can-do-I-can-do-better basketball and having Al Horford doing all the dirty work cleaning up their bad shots would have been another thing to worry about. What Al Horford does well is exactly the Achilles' heel of Boston: rebounding.

UPDATE:

After consulting a doctor, it looks like Al Horford is going to give it a go and try and play 15 minutes a night in the first round.

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