Originally written January 08, 2013 on Fox Sports South:
Lou Williams has caught fire since joining the Hawks starting lineup. Whats the biggest impact hes had on the lineup? Instant offense. Without question. Theyre used to having that off of the bench in spurts because his minutes were down. But extra minutes for Lou has changed the dynamic of this team. Their guard play, now you have to deal with both Marquis Teague and with Lou. While Teague was more of a facilitator and Lou was scoring off the bench, now you have two dangers from outside the perimeter with speed and quickness, where they only had one on the floor at a time and thats opened things up for them offensively. What do you think is going to happen when fellow guard Devin Harris returns to the lineup from a foot injury? How will they balance all this? When he gets back to game shape, which will take a couple of games, I think theyre going to put Devin Harris back in the starting lineup and move Lou back to the bench as their sixth man. I think thats a mistake but I think thats what theyre going to do, because the concern with Lou and its been this way his entire career is hes so slight of build and its such a physical game that theyre worried about a man of that size holding up for an 82-game schedule. I think thats unfair, but its reality. When you look at Saturdays loss to the Celtics, the Hawks led by 19 points but lost 89-81 and physical play continues to be an issue for this team. Why? I dont know. Its not like they dont have physical players. Zaza Pachulia is a big man -- at 6-foot-11, 274 pounds and in that epic seven-game playoff series in 2008 he went face-to-face with Kevin Garnett. He got in KGs face and that was the first time someone in Atlanta stood up to the Celtics and it changed the dynamic of that series. Theyre not afraid of the Celtics and Ivan Johnson is as bad as they come, but the Hawks do not play a physical brand of basketball. Its not as if theyre not intimidating, they just dont physical back and I dont understand why. Larry Drew was named the Coach of the Month in November. What have you seen different out of him this year and have changes been a matter of losing Joe Johnson? Its more than Joe and its more than the philosophy. He has had to use his entire team. Instead of going to the starting five and two or three guys, like last year and that has was dictated because of the loss of Joe and Marvin Williams and the whole influx of new players and then a lot of injuries. You lose Harris for an extended period of time, guys were going down left and right and the first road trip of the season they had to go to Oklahoma City without Josh Smith. He has had to mix and match more this year and more than any Hawks coaches have had the last five, six years. After all those early lineup changes do you think Drew has found that group that hes more comfortable with? At the beginning of the season they were going big and small, big and small. Either Zaza was in a lot or Zaza wasnt and they were moving Josh to the three (small forward). Now I believe Zaza is going to be on the bench and Drew think that he is pretty much settled in. The only question is whether Lou stays in the starting lineup when Devin Harris comes back.
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