Most underrated big man: Al Horford

The Hawks' talented young center has them still in the running for a top-four seed

Updated: January 19, 2011, 5:28 PM ET
By Tom Haberstroh | ESPN Insider
Al HorfordScott Cunningham/Getty ImagesAl Horford's superior handle and solid jumper make him a nightmare to guard.

According to the latest All-Star ballot update, Atlanta Hawks big man Al Horford received less than 200,000 votes, which ranks fifth among centers in the Eastern Conference and 12th if you include the Western Conference lot at the position. Even Dallas backup center Brendan Haywood, he of 4.1 points and 5.1 rebounds per game, has garnered more love from fans.

That's a shame because, outside of Dwight Howard, there may not be a more complete center in today's game than Horford. Speaking before Tuesday's game against Miami, Horford said he knows he won't surpass Howard in the fan vote, but the former Florida Gators' forward hopes the coaches give him the nod to play in Los Angeles in February.

"It'd mean a lot," Horford said. "I've put in the work and put myself in the position, I feel, to be able to make the All-Star team. That would be special. All I can do is keep playing."