The Atlanta Hawks now have one game under their belt with Al Horford absent after news broke of his pectoral tear that most likely ended his season. Al left a large hole in the Hawks’ offense and many were using this game as an indicator as to who would be filling that void. Lou Williams may be the answer after providing a strong performance in the 118-116 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats.
Lou matched his season high of 34 minutes in the Hawks’ third consecutive overtime game, a positive sign to say the least as he had only eclipsed 30 minutes of play once before this season since returning to the active roster back in mid-November. Lou provided 28 points, also a season high, off the bench for Atlanta on 7-12 shooting. He had 6 visits to the line, making 10 of 12 attempts, 10 of which came in the last 36 seconds of overtime, as the Bobcats continued to intentionally foul to lengthen the game. Lou seemed automatic as he made all 10 attempts during the extra period. He would also finish the game with 5 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 steal.
Whether or not this type of play from Lou continues will be important as Coach Mike Budenholzer and the Hawks adjust their offense without Al on the floor with them. Lou’s extended play may just be a result of the lack of depth the Hawks endured with DeMarre Carroll only seeing 19 minutes of action after spraining his thumb Thursday night and John Jenkins out with a back injury. Lou had been expected to take DeMarre’s starting spot in case he was unable to play.
The Hawks will be back at it tonight as they take on the Orlando Magic at the Amway Center. Lou will likely continue his role off the bench as DeMarre should be able to start again, but look for Lou to be a quick sub for the Hawks if the offense struggles out of the gate.