Exclusive: Horford hopes for good chemistry with new Hawks recruit

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Atlanta Hawks star Al Horford is hoping to quickly develop a good understanding with new Hawks recruit Paul Millsap following the departure of Josh Smith.

Millsap joins the Hawks from the Utah Jazz as a replacement for Smith, who signed for the Detroit Pistons after nine years in Atlanta.

And Horford - a two-time All-Star - admits it's going to take some time adjusting to life without Smith alongside him in the front court.

Speaking to GiveMeSport, Horford said: "Without doubt it's going to be different. But it's a new challenge and I think I'll be able to manage.

"It's just a matter of me getting acclimated with Paul [Millsap] and getting the chemistry developed."

28-year-old Millsap has joined the Hawks as their most high profile free-agent acquisition of the off-season so far.

Once it was clear Smith planned to exercise his free agent status to move away from Atlanta, the Hawks lined up the talented power forward to take his place alongside Horford.

"It's going to be a very strong front court no question about it," Horford continued. "And it's going to be interesting to see how quickly we are able to develop good chemistry."

It still came as something of a surprise to Horford to hear that his team had parted ways with Smith - he'd been with the Hawks since he was drafted by the organisation in 2004.

The departure of the team's leading scorer raises questions as to whether the Hawks will be able to improve on their 44-38 record from last season.

But Horford insists he has faith in the direction of the team despite the surprise.

"They've gone a little different to how I expected," the All-Star centre said. 

"But at the end of the day I have to put my trust in the Hawks organisation and the GM [general manager] Danny Ferry to make the right decisions for our team.

"What I have to do is just sit back and focus on working on my game and keep getting better as a player."


Al Horford and the Atlanta Hawks will play the Brooklyn Nets and The O2  on January 16 as part of the NBA Global Games 2014. Tickets go on sale in October. For more information go to NBA UK Facebook and follow @ NBAUK


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