The success of Hawks center Al Horford this season has mostly to do with his work ethic and athletic ability. Give an assist to what the Hawks' third-year player is doing off the floor.
Horford has improved his diet, cutting out pork and eating more fish and vegetables. Horford said he decided to stop eating pork over the summer and hasn't felt tempted to go back.
Said Horford, "I really feel good. I have a lot of energy, and I'm playing great."
Entering the Hawks' game today against Detroit, Horford's averages for points, rebounds, shooting percentage and blocks were ahead of last season's rates.
At 13.1 points and 9.9 rebounds per game, he is a candidate to be the first Hawk to average a double-double since Dikembe Mutombo in the 1999-2000 season.
Horford also works with a yoga instructor to enhance his flexibility and relaxation.
"I've always taken good care of myself," Horford said. "But I'm even trying to do a better job about it and just know that if I want to be able to play in the league for a long time, I've got to be in great shape and really take care of my body."
Guard Mike Bibby is averaging 10.6 points. In his first 11 seasons, his lowest season average was 13.2 in his rookie season. Statistically speaking, though, he is running the Hawks' offense effectively.
According to the Web site 82games.com, the Hawks are outscoring the opposition by 15.2 points per 48 minutes that Bibby is on the floor, the highest ratio on the team.
"He does everything for our team," coach Mike Woodson said. "He's not a great defender, but he's adequate to the point that he gets things done defensively for us. He brings leadership, he brings assists, he can score the ball, sets up things --- a lot of things he brings to your team that you miss when he's not on the floor."
Said Portland coach Rick Adelman, who coached Bibby in Sacramento, "His Basketball IQ is very high in that area [of facilitating]. He's always been clever."
Holding the rock
Entering their game against Philadelphia, the Hawks were committing the fewest turnovers in the NBA, 12.5 per game.
It's about on par with how the team performed last season, when it was seventh in the league at 12.8 turnovers. As a barometer of performance goes, it's not a bad one. The six teams that finished ahead of the Hawks in fewest turnovers last season --- San Antonio, Detroit, Miami, New Orleans, Dallas and Cleveland --- averaged 50.2 wins.
The game of the week might have been Golden State's 111-103 win over Dallas on the road Tuesday. The short-handed Warriors played only six players and didn't even have coach Don Nelson, who did not make the trip with pneumonia. The Warriors came back from nine points down with 6:09 remaining to win.
Instrumental was former Georgia Tech star Anthony Morrow, who was one of three players to play all 48 minutes. Morrow scored 27 points on a career-high six 3-pointers with nine rebounds and five assists.
Through Thursday, Morrow, who is in his second NBA season, was making 54.4 percent of his 3-pointers, top five in the league among players averaging two or more 3-point attempts per game.
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