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Lou Williams Is Out Indefinitely

Lou's MRI confirmed a strain of his right hamstring on Sunday. There is no definitive return date, it looks like they're going to reevaluate the injury frequently before committing to a timetable. At this point, there's no rush. Get him 100% fully healthy by the time the playoffs start, that's got to be the only priority. In the mean time, the team has five games left and they need to figure out how to fill Lou's spot.

What is a bad break for Lou is yet another chance for Evan Turner. Doug Collins really doesn't have any choice but to remove Turner from his doghouse. Playing Jrue 45 minutes/game at the point is not an option (if Lou still isn't back for the playoffs, then maybe it has to be, but in the next five, it isn't). Iguodala and Turner are the only other guys on the roster capable of handling the responsibility, and unless Collins is planning to stop playing Jrue and Andre together for long stretches, he has no other option. Turner has to play, and he has to play the point.

This isn't the first time the team has needed Turner. The Portland game comes immediately to mind. He didn't answer the call in that situation, this time, it sounds like it won't be one and done. Lou is probably going to miss at least the next two games, possibly the next five. The Sixers need him to run the point, get the team into their offense, and he's going to have to provide some scoring punch off the bench as well. The ball will be in his hands, he will be running the show. Apparently, that's what's been holding him back, so here's your shot. Here's your big chance to do it the way you're comfortable doing it. Put up or shut up time, I guess.

Turner's minutes had basically evaporated over the past few games. There was a legitimate question as to whether he'd even be in the rotation for the playoffs, and even if he'd have a chance to play himself onto the floor. Well, he's got the opportunity now. The best thing that could happen for the team would be for Turner to give Collins a problem of having too many deserving players for the available minutes. Think of it as Turner's last, best chance to salvage something from his rookie season. Also think of Turner as a key to these last five games, because if he can't hack it, Collins is going to have to either throw some funky lineups out there (Igudoala, Kapono, Nocioni, Thad, Brand, for example), or he's going to have to completely burn out his key guys heading into the playoffs.

And of course five minutes after I wrote this post, I read the Sixers were bringing in Antonio Daniels to try out for a 10-day contract. If this does happen, I'd assume Daniels will at least take a couple of days to be ready for game action. So Turner should still have an opportunity here, but it's definitely not open-ended. I think the fact that they're looking to add to the roster also tells us two things (1) The institutional confidence in Turner is pretty much squat. (2) Lou's injury is pretty serious.