Hawks' Al Horford doubtful

Updated: January 20, 2011, 9:15 PM ET
Associated Press

ATLANTA -- Al Horford's sprained ankle could leave the Atlanta Hawks without two starters for at least two games, but there was no sense of panic Thursday.

The Hawks are confident they can withstand this latest test to the team's depth as they chase Miami in the Southeast Division.

Al Horford
Horford

In fact, the Hawks believe their 93-89 win at Miami on Tuesday night was an important indicator they have better depth than the Heat, who have also had a recent rash of injuries.

"I would think that it does," Hawks coach Larry Drew said Thursday. "I think, not trying to compare both teams, the bottom line is any team that loses a player that started, there has to be other players to step up. They have got to elevate their games."

The Hawks are only two games behind the first-place Heat, who have lost four straight. While Miami has stumbled, Atlanta has won eight of its last 10 despite playing nine straight games without starting forward Marvin Williams.

Horford hurt his right ankle early in the third period against Miami. Mo Evans had 11 points and Jamal Crawford had 19 off the bench against Miami to take pressure off top scorer Joe Johnson.

"We're playing with a lot of confidence," Evans said Thursday. "We've got guys on our bench who are hungry for an opportunity and hungry to prove their worth. We've got a lot of depth and hopefully we'll take advantage of it."

Horford did not practice Thursday and is listed as doubtful for the next two games, including a home game against New Orleans on Friday. The Hawks play at Charlotte on Saturday.

"The ankle is sore," Drew said. "It sounds like he's going to be day to day. We'll see how he is [Friday]."

Williams continues to recover from a lower back injury. He returned to practice on Thursday and said he felt no discomfort, but he has not been cleared for any contact.

Williams also is doubtful for the next two games.


Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press