Al Horford: Legitimate 3-Point Threat in 2015-2016?


Al Horford has long been on of the most versatile centers in the NBA throughout his 9 year career with the Atlanta Hawks.

Horford’s quick release and shooting ability has allowed him to cement himself as one of the best mid-range jump-shooters in the NBA today, as well as a force in the paint. Al Horford shot 53.8 percent from the field last season, leading the Hawks in that category. One area of his game that Al Horford has yet to exploit is becoming a three-point shooter: a trait that fellow big-man Paul Millsap has developed over the past two seasons.

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Paul Millsap’s three-point shooting ability has made him one of the most versatile power forwards in the league. Last season, Millsap shot 35.6 percent from beyond the three-point line. This extra weapon to Millsap’s game makes opposing defenses respect his shooting ability, which affords Millsap opportunities down low.

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This past offseason, Al Horford made three-point shooting a focus of his preparations for the upcoming season. The Atlanta Hawks venerable center made it a point to discuss how he has worked on his three-point shot, and feels comfortable shooting from distance this season. Last year, Al Horford only shot 36 three-point attempts, making 11 of them. So far this season, we have seen Al Horford shoot more three pointers than ever before, with 13 attempts throughout the first three games of the 2015-2016 regular season. Horford has made 5 of those attempts.

The question is whether Al Horford can become a viable three-point threat for the Atlanta Hawks: a team that is known for it’s three-point shooting ability and an offensive scheme predicated on shooting the ball at an effective clip. Given Al Horford’s results thus far this season from shooting from beyond the arc, the addition of a three-point shot to his offensive arsenal adds another weapon to the Atlanta Hawks’ offense and makes Horford more versatile than ever.

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With Al Horford becoming an effective three-point shooter, the Atlanta Hawks now have 5 viable long-range threats in the starting lineup with Jeff Teague, Kyle Korver, Kent Bazemore and Paul Millsap. Even when paired with bench players, Al Horford’s new-found three-point shot adds another layer to the Hawks’ offense, making them an even greater threat.

It still remains unclear if Al Horfords 38.5 three-point shooting percentage is sustainable over the course of an 82 game season; but given his shooting numbers from mid-range, it’s perfectly plausible to suggest that Al Horford can not only become, but remain an effective three-point threat for the Atlanta Hawks. If Horford continues to shoot an effective clip, the Atlanta Hawks will continue to have one of the most dynamic front-courts in the league that can score effectively inside and out.

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