Hawks: ‘Lemon Pepper’ Lou Williams already providing much more than Rondo

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It’s been a week since the Hawks traded Rajon Rondo to the Clippers in exchange for Lou Williams in an attempt to add some more firepower to the second unit, and it only took him two appearances to trump everything Rondo accomplished in his brief Hawks career.

Before this season, Williams won multiple Sixth-Man of the Year awards for his ability to get a bucket at any time coming off the bench — averaging 18.2, 20.0, and 22.6 points per game over the past three seasons, respectively. He has only played in two games for the Hawks since returning, but in a game where Atlanta’s roster was depleted, he shined.

Lou Will had 19 points, four rebounds, eight assists, one block, and one steal coming off the bench against the Pelicans last night. Though sometimes scorers need to increase their volume to get into a rhythm, Williams was efficient, shooting 53% from the field, 100% from behind the arc, and 67% from the line to end the game with a plus-minus of +19.

Rondo has yet to play for the Clippers, but he was giving Atlanta barely anything off the bench. He played just 14.9 minutes per game for the Hawks, averaging career-lows in scoring (3.9 points), assists (3.5), and rebounding (2.0).

When Trae Young is off the floor, Rondo was just not capable of providing the offensive spark the second unit needed to reliably put up points like Williams is, who can carry the scoring load unlike any bench player in the league. Nate McMillan knows exactly what the veteran is capable of, “Lou is Lou,” said McMillan about the play of Williams last night. “We know what he’s capable of doing. And he is slowly working himself into a rhythm. We’re coming up with some sets and some plays for him and the second unit. And he’s doing a good job of initiating some of the offense. But also playing off the ball or playing the point and running sets for us. He’s really done a nice job these two games he has played.”

The Hawks seem to be the ones who came out of this trade on top, at least right now. Lou is a walking bucket, but playoff-Rondo is a real thing. Atlanta will miss his leadership; however, the narrative that Williams is ineffective in the playoffs is grotesquely misconstrued.

The Hawks will be better served in the future after making this trade as Lou is and will be superior to Rondo for what the team currently needs.

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