If there were one player that the Hawks couldn't afford to lose, it was probably Al Horford, Atlanta's two-time All-Star center. So the news that Horford is out with a shoulder injury for three to four months effectively the remainder of the regular season is downright crushing news.
It's unexpected news, too.
"I'm still surprised," said Horford. "I was hoping that it was a sprain and I could rehab it for a few weeks and come back."
He plans to get a second opinion, but, either way, surgery is going to be required, which means Atlanta will be without The Boss for much longer than they'd like and maybe longer than the Hawks' playoff hopes can handle.
Joe Johnson, Josh Smith and Horford form the Atlanta's "Big Three." Each of them bring their own value and set of skills that the Hawks always a solid playoff team, but not quite elite can't really do without. Johnson is the squad's go-to scorer, Atlanta's clearout option ("Iso-Joe" is what the fans half-sarcastically call it). S...