Lou Williams remains in the starting lineup for a second straight game as the Hawks take on the Pistons tonight. Williams got the start at shooting guard in Saturday’s win over the Bulls and coach Larry Drew elected to go with the hot hand.
“Being smaller, it has its advantages and disadvantages,” Drew said of a backcourt that features 6-foot-2 Jeff Teague and 6-1 Williams. “The way we feel we need to play we want to go a little smaller with the quickness. He had a really good game our last game. With he and Jeff in there it makes us a lot quicker, a lot faster and it puts us in a more up-tempo style. We had success with it our last game and we are going to go with it again.”
Drew was pushed in the direction to start Williams against the Bulls, his first in 173 games, with Devin Harris (sore left foot) unavailable and DeShawn Stevenson needing rest on the second of back-to-back games.
Drew said he spoke to Williams about his role with the Hawks after he was signed this summer as a free agent.
“We had the conversation and I think he was happy to hear that,” Drew said. “He’s been a guy who pretty much came off the bench his whole career and, at least I can tell, he understands his role but he embraces the fact he won’t be pigeon-holed as a guy just coming off the bench.”
Williams will be joined in the same starting lineup used against the Bulls with Teague, Kyle Kover, Josh Smith and Al Horford.
* Harris is doubtful for the game. He spent some time on the court prior to this morning’s shoot-around but left before it really got started.
This would be the fourth straight game Harris has missed due to the injury. He also missed two games earlier this season with turf toe and a stomach illness.
* Drew said before tonight’s game he will show his team clips of Saturday’s dominant 92-75 victory over the Bulls to reinforce what they did so well.
* Drew said the key to victory over the Bulls was the early play of point guard Teague. Although Williams started in the back-court and scored 14 first-half points, Teague set the tone.
“It all starts with Jeff Teague,” Drew said. “He got us going against Chicago. His defense was really good. He was active. He was pushing the basketball and he got everyone else going. That is something that we will continue to emphasis and point out with Jeff the importance of his aggressive play early in the game to get us going.”
* The victory over the Bulls was especially key as the Hawks wouldn’t play for three days after that game and had lost three of their previous four.
“I thought it was important to get a win, particularly because of the way we played against Philly,” Drew said. “You go into the Christmas break with a better taste in your mouth after a win than a loss, I’ll tell you that. I was really proud of the way our guys came out and how they sustained for all four quarters of high energy and high intensity.”
* Finally, I hope everyone had a happy and safe holiday. I will update this blog with any new lineup information following my pre-game interview with Drew.
- Chris Vivlamore
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