The Atlanta Hawks welcomed back Lou Williams out of the NBA’s health and safety protocols and he was a crucial piece of the puzzle for the team tonight. While he did not set the world on fire with his shooting, he was still a player who needed to be defended, taking pressure off the rest of the team.
On his first game out of the health and safety protocol, Williams was asked to play just under 32 minutes of game time. While he scored 14 points, he was incredibly inefficient from the floor. He was 3-of-12 from the field and 1-of6 from behind the long line. However, he was able to go 7-of-7 from the line.
Williams’ role would not have been as large as it was tonight except for the loss of Cam Reddish after only ten minutes of court time to injury. Reddish did not hit any of his three attempts from the floor but collected three steals in a good display at that end of the floor.
The Atlanta Hawks benefitted from Lou Williams’ steady hand.
On top of the 14 points, Williams was active on the glass, collecting three rebounds. However, it was his playmaking which the Hawks benefitted from the most. While Young led the team in assists, Williams had five of his own which shows the chemistry he has with his teammates.
This secondary playmaking role took some of the pressure off Young and made the Hawks harder to defend. This was a crucial piece in the Hawks’ ability to come back against the Cavaliers. They were unable to shut down both Young and Williams.
However, it was Williams’ ability to get to the line which helped out the Hawks immeasurably. They are playing so short-handed and every time that Williams was able to stop the game for the time that he was at the line, it saved Nate McMillan from calling a timeout to get his players rest. This allowed for greater game management by the coach and helped his teammates get the little bits of rest which helped in the comeback.