15 Days Until the Atlanta Hawks’ Season

Tuesday, October 15, 2013
By Robby Kalland

Atlanta Hawks vs Miami Heat

We are counting down the days until the Hawks’ season-opener in Dallas by giving you 50 things to be excited about this year. With 15 days left, today’s reason is…

Al Horford’s Mid-Range Game

Al Horford enters his seventh season with the Atlanta Hawks and figures to be one of the focal points of the Hawks’ new offense under Coach Bud. Mid-range shooting has always been a strength for Horford, and this season he will get plenty of opportunities to show off that jump-shot. As I detailed earlier this week in Breaking Bud Part Three, the Hawks offense will be heavily predicated on pick-and-roll/pop plays. Horford’s mid-range shooting will be a big part of the Hawks offense, and his success as a mid-range shooter helps open up the rest of his offensive game.

As Drew Garrison of SB Nation explained in terrific detail here, Horford’s ability to face-up opponents is critical to his success as an offensive player. Knocking down mid-range (non-paint) jumpers, which he did at a 43.7 percent rate last season, forces defenders to bite on his jab step which opens up driving lanes to the basket where he shoots 71.6 percent (per NBA Stats).

Adjusting to taking contested jumpers was something Horford said he had to adjust to early last season and he worked on getting his shot up quicker and using the jab step more to create space. This showed in his mid-range shooting percentage as he shot 47.3 percent in the mid-range (non-paint) from February 1 to the end of the season (he shot 40.2 percent from the mid-range (non-paint) from the beginning of the season through Jan. 31).

Horford’s shooting will likely extend outside of just the mid-range this season as Coach Bud hopes to have Horford, Millsap, and the other bigs stretch their range to the corner threes this season. Horford went 2-for-3 from corner threes last season and says it’s something he has been working on this offseason to get more consistent and comfortable shooting from the outside. The ability of Al Horford (along with Paul Millsap and the rest of the Hawks’ bigs) to stretch the floor and hit jump shots is definitely one of the reasons that we are excited for this upcoming season.

We also want your input. What are you most excited about this upcoming season.  Leave a comment below to let us know, and we may feature your idea in our countdown!

Day 50 – New Faces
Day 49 – First Pelicans Visit
Day 48 – Hawks Social Media
Day 47 – Dennis Schröder
Day 46 – Celebrities at Philips Arena
Day 45 – All-Star Game
Day 44 – Hawks Footwear
Day 43 – Sky Hawk and the Sky Squad
Day 42 – Bakersfield Jam
Day 41 – John Jenkins & Mike Scott
Day 40 – SkyView Atlanta
Day 39 – Drew and Pachulia’s Return
Day 38 – Junior Cheerleaders
Day 37 – Production Day
Day 36 – Hawks Intro Video
Day 35 – Overtime Games
Day 34 – Fan Experiences
Day 33 – Learning Foreign Languages
Day 32 – Gustavo Ayón
Day 31 – Open Practice
Day 30 – Live Streaming/Hawks.com
Day 29 – Ryan Cameron
Day 28 – Bob Rathbun & Dominique Wilkins
Day 27 – Paul Millsap
Day 26 – Hawks Shop
Day 25 – Players On Twitter
Day 24 – Kiss Cam
Day 23 – Hawks 6th Man
Day 22 – Harry The Hawk
Day 21 – Junior Cheerleaders
Day 20 – Hawks In Transition
Day 19 – Crazy Half-Court Shots at Halftime
Day 18 – DeMarre Carroll
Day 17 – Hawks Cheerleaders
Day 16 – Dunks

Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE/Getty Images

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