ATLANTA In the best of times, Al Horford, at 6-foot-10, 250 pounds, is an under-sized center and more suited to playing power forward.
Now consider that when the two-time All-Star returned from nearly four months out with a torn pectoral muscle last May in the first round of the NBA Playoffs, Horford had to battle the behemoths in the post without having all of his strength back in his upper body.
Horford said when he reviewed the game films, he saw that he was doing the right things on defense in terms of his positioning, but he estimates that his effectiveness was only about 70 percent. Even now, he said that he must continue to build his strength back up and hopes he will get back to where he was before the injury by the start of the season on Nov. 2.
"Just some of the things I wanted to do or play my game, which is more aggressive and more physical -- I couldn't do it because I was limited strength-wise," Horford said. "And that was something I've been trying to deal with a...