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Hawks counting on Williams' return

POSTED: May 5, 2009 1:06 a.m.

ATLANTA — Marvin Williams won’t start for the Atlanta Hawks in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against Cleveland, but the fourth-year forward may get plenty of minutes.

Williams, who started two of the three games he played in Atlanta’s first-round series win over Miami, is likely to serve in a reserve role against the Cavaliers tonight.

Woodson plans to keep Maurice Evans in the lineup, but said he prefers giving as many minutes as possible to Williams if he proves he won’t tire too easily.

"We struggled to score some (against Miami), and there was 14 points sitting on the sidelines," Woodson said Monday. "He told me today after practice that he’s ready to go. We need him."

Williams’ 13.9 scoring average ranked fourth on the Hawks behind Joe Johnson, Josh Smith and Mike Bibby. He started his first 59 games before missing 16 straight games late in the regular season with a back injury.

During a Game 2 home loss to Miami, Williams sprained his right wrist and didn’t return until Game 6, when he failed to score, took one shot and had no rebounds in 4:49 as a reserve.

Evans, a sixth-year veteran who averaged 7.2 points during 80 games of the regular season, has made 30 starts, five in the playoffs.



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