Atlanta Hawks Need Lou Williams To Raise His Game

By Andrew Shaw
Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Things are not pretty for the Atlanta Hawks right now. The Hawks have lost five games in a row entering the NBA All-Star break and look to be on the verge of collapse after playing so well to start out the season.

For the majority of the year, Atlanta held the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference, but now the team currently sits at the No. 5 seed because of their current losing streak. While injuries have played their part in the Hawks’ longest losing streak of the season, the poor play of Lou Williams is also a cause for concern.

Just a year ago, Williams averaged 14.1 points per game and shot 42.2 percent from the field in an Atlanta uniform. Now, to his credit he averaged these numbers before suffering an ACL injury, which forced him to miss the rest of the year and part of this season as well.

However, it’s been 38 games since his return and he’s only shown flashes of his former self so far. In 38 games, Williams is providing a mere 9.4 points per game as the sixth man for the Hawks. What’s even worse is the fact that he is also shooting an awful 37.8 percent from the field.

For someone who is considered the best scoring option off the bench for Atlanta, these numbers are just not good enough. Recovering from an ACL injury is never easy, but at about this point in the season, you would expect to see a player like Williams finding his game instead of losing it.

In the month of February, he’s averaging a lowly 7.5 points per game in 25.2 minutes of action over the course of six games. He also shot 38 percent from the field, which includes an abysmal 27.8 percent from the three-point line.

With so many players out with injuries during the first half of the year, the Hawks needed Williams to step up big time and so far, he’s failed. He’s shown signs of promise, such as his three games where he scored more than 25 points, but for the majority of the time, he’s struggled to raise his game in order to help the team win. However, a well-timed All-Star break may just be what both the Hawks and Williams need.

The break will give him the chance to get his legs back, as well as some extra time to focus on his shot at the gym. If Atlanta wants any chance of getting their No. 3 seed back in the East, Williams has to be one of the players to raise his game to the next level. He’s proved he can score in this league before, now he has to show that he can do it again.

Andrew Shaw is an Atlanta Hawks writer for Follow him on Twitter @AShaw003, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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