X-rays can provide a sense of false hope, apparently.
When Hawks guard Lou Williams down with a right knee sprain during Atlanta's 94-89 loss to the Brookyn Nets Friday, the X-rays taken on site at the Nets' Barclays Center came back negative. However, after Dr. Michael Bernot of Peachtree Orthopedics in Atlanta examined Williams and took an MRI, the news came back much worse.
Williams, the hometown product who signed with the Hawks during the offseason after seven strong seasons in Philadelphia, tore his ACL, according to a team release.
"We are extremely disappointed for Lou and our thoughts and support will be with him during his recovery," said Hawks general manager Danny Ferry. "He has been a complete professional in every sense of the word and know that approach, along with his work ethic, will serve him well in his rehabilitation."
A date for surgery has yet to be set, but Williams will undergo a period of rest prior to any procedure.
It's especially disheartening for a struggling Hawks team, as Williams has been a bright spot this season and was an immediate crowd favorite early on this season. The 6-foot-1 guard is averaging 14.1 points, 3.6 assists and 2.1 rebounds per game this season, including career-best percentages from the free throw line and 3-point range.
With Williams out, it likely will signal more minutes for starting point guard Jeff Teague and backup guards Devin Harris and rookie John Jenkins. Once he recovers from a hip and lower back injury andor soreness, Anthony Morrow, who has averaged just 13.2 minutes in the 22 games he's played, will likely also see more time.
Even worse: The Hawks are in the midst of a season-worst stretch of losing eight of their last 11 games.
Williams' absence will not help reverse that trend.