Hawks' Horford looks to adjust his game

Al Horford was by far the biggest man in the gym this past weekend as he towered over the 120 or so kids at his basketball camp at Emory University.

But when Horford returns to the court to play center for the Hawks, he's considered undersized for his position. For the second consecutive offseason, an emerging storyline is if the Hawks will add a full-time center so Horford can permanently slide to his preferred power forward position.

But the bigger question might be if Horford will figure larger in Atlanta's offense in 2011-12. Horford was by far the team's most efficient scorer last season but ranked just fourth in field-goal attempts per game.

“It will be interesting because I've always been very team-oriented,” Horford said at his camp. “If coach [Larry Drew] comes and tells me, ‘Listen, I want you to develop more [in isolation] and I want you to create plays,' I could adjust my game to that.”

For years the Hawks have been a guard-oriented team with Joe Johnson as the anchor. Johnson had his worst season in Atlanta last season and his deliberate style sometimes bogged down Drew's motion offense.

The limitations of that approach became clear during Atlanta's Eastern Conference semifinals loss to the Bulls. With the exception of two games, Atlanta's offense was disjointed against a superior defensive opponent and the Hawks lost the best-of-seven series in six games.

Horford's production and efficiency plummeted during the playoffs. Bulls center Joakim Noah's physical defense seemed to disrupt Horford's rhythm and timing and Horford appeared hesitant to shoot the mid-range jumpers he'd made at a league-high clip during the season.

Horford said he plans to focus on improving his post game by developing a counter-move to go along with his right-handed hook shot. But he said he doesn't think his limitations in the post explained his rough postseason.

“I'm sure it would have helped but I don't think that was the difference,” Horford said. “My game is predicated on how my team is doing as a whole and how we are playing together. When we play together and we have high assists you see my production go up usually. We had a couple games where we started to play the right way and we got away from it and it affected the way that I play.”

Media voted Horford to the All-NBA third team at center. Jason Collins started 28 regular-season games at center and was key during Atlanta's first-round victory against Orlando.

Hawks general manager Rick Sund said he hopes to re-sign Collins, who will be a free agent, but he's not sure if the Hawks would add a player expected to start full time.

“When all is said and done we have got to have enough people at the center position who can play a certain style,” he said.

Proceeds from Horford's basketball camp benefit the Boys and Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta.

Camp candidates

The Hawks open a three-day minicamp on Monday at Philips Arena. About 20 free agents are expected to join Keith Benson, Atlanta's second-round draft pick.

Among the free agents invited to the camp are Qyntel Woods, Donald Sloan, Joe Alexander, Marcus Landry and Vernon Goodridge. Woods and Alexander are former NBA first-round draft picks.

League rules prohibit players under contract from participating in team workouts before July 1.