Atlanta Hawks guard Lou Williams, the team’s third-leading scorer averaging 14.1 points, will miss the remainder of the season after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in Friday night’s loss to the Brooklyn Nets.
The tear was discovered Saturday morning after Dr. Michael Bernot examined Williams’ knee. He will undergo surgery, but there is no date set.
The Atlanta native’s injury came when he stole the ball and was driving to the basket with about 7 minutes left in the second quarter. His leg gave out as he attempted to plant and go up for the shot, but had to limp out of bounds and be taken to the locker room.
Hawks coach Larry Drew said the loss of Williams for the rest of the season was “devastating” for the team, but they must find a way forward.
“You hate to see it happen,” Drew said on Saturday. “You wish for a fast and speedy recovery but we have to conduct business as usual and we have to move on. We have to get somebody in that locker room that is going to have to step up. Any time one of your soldiers is down, somebody else has to pick it up. I have confidence that that will happen.”
Rookie John Jenkins, who is only averaging 4.1 points per game, will see an increase in his minutes, according to Drew.
“I just pray for him,” Jeff Teague said to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Hopefully it’s a speedy recovery. It is tough losing a guy like that coming off the bench and getting points in bunches. He’s just a good guy all around, a good player, a good friend, someone I enjoy playing with.”
The 26-year-old Williams signed a multiyear deal as a free agent with the Hawks last summer. He has played in all 39 games this season, during most of which he came off the bench. Along with his 14.1 points per game, he also averaged 3.6 assists and 2.1 rebounds overall. But in nine starts, his numbers are slightly higher, averaging 18.6 points, 5.8 assists and 3.9 rebounds.
Williams joins a Hawks backcourt that is plagued by injuries. DeShawn Stevenson is out with a sore right knee, and Anthony Morrow has missed 12 consecutive games with a right hip and lower back injury.