Know Thy Self - A Look at Al Horford

Greg M. Cooper-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

Peachtree Hoops continues its in depth preview of the Hawks' 2012-13 roster by looking at two time all-star Al Horford. He missed most of last season with injury, but should be back at full strength for this season.

Continuing the Know Thy Self series, where we meet the roster of the 2012-2013 Atlanta Hawks, we take a look the only great lottery pick of the Billy Knight era, Al Horford.

Al Joel Horford

Twitter: Al_Horford

Nickname: Da Boss

Born: 6/3/1986 in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic

Puerto Plata is a upscale tourist destination in the Dominican Republic. The city has over 100,000 hotel beds. The year of it's founding is in dispute, but 1502 seems like a good possibility. The first European village in the New World was nearby La Isabela founded in 1494 by Christopher Columbus. One interesting feature of Puerto Plata is that it has a Christ the Redeemer statue, a replica of the famous one that overlooks Rio de Janeiro. Today, the Dominican Republic has one of the healthiest economies in Central America and the Caribbean based primarily in tourism (although shortstops run a close second). To call out a famous Dominican, I've got a soft spot for actress Zoe Saldana (or almost any other woman painted blue). Musically, the Dominican Republic is the birthplace of merengue music possibly best embodied by Johnny Ventura. A more modern representative of the music scene would be Fabolous. The most famous athletes from the Dominican Republic have to be the two guys to sign the largest contracts in the history of baseball, Alex Rodriguez and Albert Pujols.

College: Florida

Al Horford was a member of back-to-back NCAA Championship teams at Florida, not bad for a football school. Lots of famous Gators out there like comedians Darrell Hammond formerly of SNL, Stephen Root, who played Milton in Office Space and Jimmy James on Newsradio, and Erin Andrews, who went from the sideline to hosting a college football studio show. Musically, you've got the Bellamy Brothers, Sister Hazel, and Stephen Stills. Lots of famous athletes went to Florida like the old ball coach, Steve Spurrier, and Tim Tebow. Both won the Heisman Trophy, but so did Danny Wuerffel.

Personal Notes: In December, Al Horford married the 2003 Miss Universe Amelia Vega. She's 6'1" and I'm sure has an impressive wingspan. Al will likely go into television after he retires as was evident by him being the first player to co-direct a night of programming at NBA TV's studios. Al's father Tito was a high school basketball All-American 1st teamer with Hawks GM Danny Ferry. Al was the last Hawk to participate in the NBA All-Star weekend rookie game and only the 4th ever (Alan Henderson, Jason Terry, and Josh Smith were the other 3). A man of many talents, Al appeared in the 2009 Ciara video for Never Ever.

ESPN Top 500 rank: 30 just behind Andre Iguodala (28) and Paul Pierce (29) but just ahead of Josh Smith (31) and Rudy Gay (32).

Wingspan: 84.75"

basketball-reference.com sponsorship price: $70 - think of this as a Q-rating for basketball. Better known players have hiring rates because in theory their stat page will get visited more often.

Horoscope: As a Gemini I found this free sports horoscope for the year: Certain professional concern arrives in the long term, this year. Indeed, here that solution arrives thanks to outside assistances, proposals, etc…. You begin the year with a beautiful note of jupiterian optimism, which brings a promising relational chance to you. You will collect the fruits in November of them, for the hour, this is the moment to launch useful preparations. It is up to you to keep a minimum of opening and especially of flexibility.

Chinese Zodiac: Born in the year of the tiger. People born in this year are tolerant, staunch, valiant, and respected. They like challenges and speed and they are active and good at expressing themselves. Tiger people have strong sense of errantry, be frank and easy to win others' trust. Their shortcoming is to project themselves before others. They are given to deep thinking and capable of great sympathy, however, they can be short-tempered without interest with long-term endeavor.

They should watch out for a contest in 2012, the Year of the Dragon. In terms of the Five Elements (Wuxing) Theory, wood (tiger) breaks earth (dragon). The fight between tiger and dragon may bring uncertainty to tiger’s fortune in the year of dragon.

Workplace Compatibility:
Work best with roosters (Kyle Korver and DeShawn Stevenson) and goats (John Jenkins).
Not so good with horses, monkeys, and dogs (none on the roster).

Stats: This block is a combination of data from basketball-reference.com and 82games.com to give an idea of the playing style and effectiveness of a player.

Al Horford Per Game Per 36M rank/478
Minutes 31.6 FG% 0.553 26
Points 12.4 14.1 3P% 0 364
Rebounds 7.0 8.0 eFG% 0.553 43
Assists 2.2 2.5 FT% 0.733 254
Steals 0.9 1.0 PER 19.0 52
Blocks 1.3 1.4 Usage 17.9% 248
Offensive Rating 116 Reb% 13.0% 133
Defensive Rating 100 WS/48 Asst% 11.7% 196
Win Shares 1.3 .18 TOV% 12.1% 179
Jump Shots 59% 0.475 Draws Fouls 14.9%
Inside 41% 0.667 Hands Rtg 12.9

Quick Analysis: These stats are from an abbreviated season. Al was injuried part way through the 11th game of the year. His rebounding was down considerably but it's hard to say if it would have remained low throughout an entire season. One thing that wasn't off during those 11 games was Al's efficiency as a scorer. He's one of the most efficient scorers in the league. If he can maintain that with likely higher usage this year then the Hawks will be well served. Other things that stand out to me is that for a center Al ranks well in terms of assist percentage and hands rating. Al shoots well from midrange, but the numbers show that he doesn't settle as much as other players we've profiled. The rankings are out of 478 players listed on basket-reference.com for last season with no qualifying minimums to provide some context for the numbers.

Hopefully, you feel you know a little more about Al Horford than before. Let me know what you think in your comments. The questions in my mind are do you think Al's role on offense will expand greatly this year? And can he continue to be efficient?

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