There is proof — and plenty of it — that Al Horford once again is the Hawks’ model of consistency.
The center is tied for second in the NBA, and leads the Eastern Conference, with 39 double-doubles this season. He has hit the double-figures mark in points and rebounds in nine of the past 10 games, including five consecutive after Wednesday’s victory over the Bucks. He has surpassed 20 points and 10 rebounds 19 times this season.
Only the Warriors’ David Lee, with 45, has more double-doubles. Horford is tied with the Lakers’ Dwight Howard and the Grizzlies’ Zach Randolph.
“I expect to play good games,” said Horford after 26 points and 15 rebounds against the Bucks. “As long as we play within our team offense, I feel like that is where I am most efficient when we are moving the ball and I’m getting the pick-and-pops and the pick-and-rolls. I don’t know if I expect these types of numbers, but I definitely expect a lot out of myself.”
Horford played in only 11 regular-season games last season before a torn left pectoral muscle sidelined him. He returned May 6 for the final three games of the first-round playoff series loss to the Celtics. Horford said he is at near full strength from that injury and is completely over calf and hamstring issues that bothered him earlier this season.
The two-time All-Star is the Hawks’ leading scorer with 17.4 points per game, good for 23rd in the NBA. His 10.2 rebound average ranks ninth in the league and his 55.0 field-goal percentage ranks 11th.