The Atlanta Hawks have been short-handed in the backcourt over the last two games as Lou Williams has been sidelined with a hamstring injury, but as Wednesday night's tip-off against the Boston Celtics gets closer, Mike Budenholzer has announced that Williams would likely be available to play. However, Budenholzer did stop short of guaranteeing his availability, leaving the door open for a potential change nearer to tip-off.
Atlanta has split the two games without Lou in the lineup, but just prior to his absence, Williams was playing some of the best basketball he has played this season. In his last five games on the floor, the 27-year-old combo guard is averaging 14.4 points per game on nearly 49% shooting from the floor, and his assist numbers have also been rising (over 4 per game during this stretch as a bit of his aggression and assertiveness returns.
It will be interesting to see if Williams can support anything close to a full workload if he returns, and if he suffers a setback that keeps him from playing, look for some combination of Cartier Martin (who played 13 minutes on Tuesday), Shelvin Mack, and Dennis Schröder to pick up the slack. The Celtics have a stable of long, quality guards that includes both Rajon Rondo and Avery Bradley, so anything that Lou can contribute would be of great value in a virtual must-win game.