I enjoy Bill Simmons work, always have. I haven't even gone back against him as he's gotten more and more run at ESPN.
Heck, I really liked his Big Book of Basketball. Hey, it's fun book.
So, imagine how I might feel about him now that he has written this (emphasis mine):
A: There are five locks for the reserves: Kevin Garnett (best player on the best team in the East), Paul Pierce (his most efficient season: 19.0 ppg, 51 percent FG, 41 percent 3FG, 86 percent FT), Rajon Rondo (his best season, even if Rose leapfrogged him); Chris Bosh (terrible November, really good since); and Al Horford (the most consistent Hawk -- he gets Joakim Noah's spot).
Maybe what I was writing earlier may be taking hold--Al Horford, the populist pick for the AS reserves?
It's not like he needs charity to get in. Al is among the best in the league this year, statistically speaking.
In addition to the stellar Horford numbers that Tom Haberstroh listed in the piece I posted earlier, as of today, Horford is, among Eastern conference centers playing more than 25 minutes per game:
2nd in PER: 22.62 (Howard-1st)
2nd in Estimated Wins Added: 8.9 (Howard-1st)
3rd in Defensive Rebounding: 24.3 (Howard -1st, Bogut 2nd)
1st in Turnover Ratio: 7.7: (Bargnani/Bogut-T2, 10.7)
1st in Assist Rate: 18.7 (Noah-2nd, 15.6)
1st in True Shooting: .597 (Howard-2nd, .596)
The only thing that might work against Al is health, with his hand injury earlier in the season making him less forceful inside and his ankle injury against Miami that threatens to sideline him for a game or two. Being off the court could hurt Al's visibility unless the Hawks tank without him, which would cause a groundswell of Al Horford is the most important player on the Hawks talk.
Exit Question: On a scale from 1 to 5, with 5 being disrespectful and 1 being "Meh", how big a deal would it be if Horford got snubbed? As a card carrying Horford backer and fellow Gator, my needle rests firmly on 7.