Lou Williams was arguably one of the few marquee names the Atlanta Hawks were going to have on their squad this season. After missing the start of the season while recovering from a torn ACL, Williams played a big part in keeping the Hawks afloat in the Eastern Conference standings.
But lately Williams has seen his minutes decrease, to the point of being a coach’s scratch in a 111-97 loss to the Golden State Warriors on Friday. Lou says there are no health issues keeping him from playing, and it was just the coach’s choice to sit him the last two games.
Some are wondering if there is an issue that is keeping Williams sitting on the bench – health or otherwise.
Hawks head coach Mike Budenholzer says no.
“All year we’ve been working on different groups that can help us,” Budenholzer told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Lou has done a ton of good things and he has helped us through the year. Tonight, we gave some other guys some minutes and some opportunities. Playing a little bit bigger is important to us. But Lou has been very good for us all year. It’s one of the hardest parts about coaching. You can’t play everybody.”
Color us crazy, but it seems that even wanting to go big doesn’t explain leaving one of your best scorers sitting on the bench when you are mired in the middle of a five-game losing streak, and have lost 14 of the last 15 games.
The Hawks are currently clinging to the final playoff spot in the East, and will need to get themselves back on track if they hope to make their way to the postseason. Sitting Williams 10 ppg, 1.0 rpg and 3.6 apg might not be the best path to get there.