ATLANTA - MARCH 31: Al Horford #15 of the Atlanta Hawks dunks against Pau Gasol #16 of the Los Angeles Lakers at Philips Arena on March 31, 2010 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)
Slam Online's annual countdown of the Top 50 players in the NBA is on going and Atlanta Hawks center Al Horford checks in at No. 32 on the list. The countdown is based on projections for the upcoming 2011-12 season and Horford ranks ahead of the likes of Andrew Bogut (49), Marc Gasol (47) and Andrew Bynum (44).
Horford finished with a career-high 15.3 ppg average during the 2011 season to go along with 56 percent shooting from the field. Horford also averaged 9.3 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game which was also a career-high. If those numbers aren't impressive then SLAM offers up an explanation for Horford's ranking.
Consider, Horford trolls the paint for a team that works outside in, rarely runs plays for him and constantly relies on him to bail out below-average perimeter defenders. Plus, he's as reliable as they come, playing 35 minutes a night at a premium position (arguably not his natural one) and appearing in no less than 77 games in three of his four seasons to date.