The good moments have been few and far between for Lou Williams this season but perhaps Monday's win over Philadelphia he has finally turned the corner. Williams scored 11 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter and helped the Atlanta Hawks avoid an embarrassing loss to the lowly Sixers. Perhaps even more important, Lou was on the court for some meaningful minutes and was able to produce.
"He deserved to be on the court. He played well. It was great for our group for Lou to have a night like that. With the situation and the circumstances with Kyle and DeMarre coming off injury and a little bit sick, Lou really stepped up and took over some of that slack. He was what we needed down the stretch," said head coach Mike Budenholzer following the game.
Despite going 2-7 from three-point range, Lou hit 7-12 field goal attempts against the Sixers and was a perfect 6-6 from the free throw line. He was efficient offensively and decisive which is something that he struggled with initially during his return from last season's season-ending knee injury.
"That's what we've been expecting from him all season," teammate DeMarre Carroll said. "Coach did a good job of not playing Lou, to show him that he couldn't take his opportunities for granted. He's playing some better basketball now."
Earlier this month Williams was dropped from the rotation and received seven straight DNP-CD's as Budenholzer continued to search for a combination that worked for his struggling club. Williams wasn't exactly happy about the situation but to his credit, he went about things the right way.
"That was the first time I had to deal with that in my career," Williams said on his benching. "We weren't in a good rhythm and Coach wanted to change things up, try something new. He told me to stay ready. That's what I did."
As injuries once again crippled the Hawks, Lou was given another opportunity. Since returning to the rotation, Williams is averaging 11.9 points on 44 percent shooting. He's also getting to the line more regular and averaging more than four free throw attempts per game. Defensively it is still somewhat of a mixed bag but at least Williams is back to doing Lou Williams type things on the offensive end.
The timing couldn't have been any better for the Hawks.