The multitalented 2007-08 Rookie of the Year runner-up (*cough he was robbed cough*) has a tough taskas Atlanta's lone interior defensive force.
Smith provides a great deal of help as a trenchant roamer, but Horford is the only Hawk with the ability to hold his ground on the inside. With minimal help from the Zaza Pachulias and Randolph Morrises of the world, holding down the middle becomes a difficult load to carry.
Offensively, we know that Horford has the ability to do damage, but he's yet to develop the aggressiveness to do so on a consistent basis. Horford is a winner and that can be backed up by the back-to-back national championships he was a part of at the University of Florida but he's going to have to make more use of his versatility if he wants to experience success at the NBA level.
Should he take steps toward doing this in 2008-09, and become an even bigger double-double threat, both he and his team will be better off on both ends of the floor.
What to expect In 2008-2009
With the pending improvements by multiple Eastern Conference clubs including a few Southeast Division rivals the Atlanta Hawks may have a tough time topping last season's record. In fact, it may not be farfetched to suggest they could even take a minor hit in the win column.
Expect flashes of brilliance, the downside of a late-lottery selection, or the upside of a consecutive first-round exit.
Prediction: 37-45, third in Southeast Division, eighth in Eastern Conference
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