From Comcast SportsNetATLANTA (AP) -- Lou Williams, the Atlanta Hawks' third-leading scorer, will miss the remainder of the season with a right knee injury.The Hawks announced before Saturday night's game against San Antonio that Williams tore the anterior cruciate ligament in the knee in Friday night's loss at Brooklyn. The tear was found when Williams was examined Saturday by Dr. Michael Bernot in Atlanta."It's certainly devastating to us to lose Lou," Hawks coach Larry Drew said.Williams, a guard in his first season with the Hawks, is averaging 14.1 points.The injury came in the second quarter when Williams stole the ball and was driving to the basket with around 7 minutes left. His leg appeared to give out as he tried to plant and go up for the shot. He limped out of bounds behind the basket and was eventually taken to the locker room area.The loss of Williams is a blow to an Atlanta team which has lost seven of nine following a strong start. Williams has joined starters Devin Harris and Jeff Teague to make the backcourt a strength for the team.Drew said the loss of Williams is especially difficult to overcome because the 6-foot-1 Williams played both guard positions.Drew said rookie shooting guard John Jenkins, averaging only 4.1 points per game, will see more playing time.Kyle Korver is starting at shooting guard against the Spurs. With the Hawks now limited to Harris and Teague at point guard, Drew said he preferred to have Harris come off the bench and play behind Teague. With a healthy Williams available, Drew didn't have to worry about playing Teague and Harris at the same time.The Hawks' backcourt also is limited by injuries to DeShawn Stevenson, who is not cleared to play on back-to-back days due to a sore right knee, and Anthony Morrow, who has missed 12 straight games with a right hip and lower back injury. Drew said Morrow is day to day.The loss of Williams is the biggest setback. The Atlanta native signed with the Hawks as a free agent after averaging a career-best 14.9 points with Philadelphia last season."It's all part of the business," Drew said. "You hate to see it happen."You hope for a fast and speedy recovery but you have to move on. I'm expecting the guys to respond to this, I really am. This is just another test for us as a team and me as a coach."Spurs coach Greg Popovich said Williams is "a hell of a force" and added, "I hate to hear he's out for the whole year."Hawks center Al Horford, who missed Friday night's game with a sore left calf and hamstring, is starting against the Spurs.
BOSTON – While the loss to the Avalanche on Thursday night was a monumental dud, it put another dazzling display on the hockey resume of David Pastrnak.
The 20-year-old star right winger scored two more goals in the 4-2 loss at TD Garden and nearly brought the Bruins back into the game by himself before another defensive breakdown at the end of the second period doomed them.
Instead, Pastrnak had to settle with being the proud owner of 18 goals scored in 23 games that places him in a tie with NHL superstar Sidney Crosby for the NHL lead in goals.
The goals also showed his wide range of lethal offensive skills. On the first score, he just broke away from the Avalanche defense and managed to bury a second-effort breakaway chance after a nice Tim Schaller stretch pass off the boards. The second goal was a straight one-timer bomb from the high slot off a slick setup pass from Brad Marchand in the corner, and it had the Bruins right back into the mix after a dreadful first period.
It wasn’t enough when the B’s defense faltered again toward the end of the second period, but it was enough for everybody to be singing Pastrnak’s praises once again following the loss.
“He’s a game changer. The momentum is going the other way, and he has the ability to break away on any given shift and score a big goal for us. He did that tonight,” said Torey Krug. “We can’t just keep relying on the same guys to score goals. We’ve got to come up with secondary offense, and I know every other guy wants to do that.
“Now it’s about showing that on the ice and making sure we’re doing the work and getting better and proving to ourselves. But Pasta [David Pastrnak] has been great for us so far, and we’re obviously lucky to have him.”
The 18 goals barely two months into the season are not too shabby for a kid, in his third NHL season, who just now coming into his own. He’s nearly halfway to 40 before Christmas. For Pastrnak, however, it’s about the team result and he wasn’t overly satisfied with his two goals in a losing effort.
“I’ve said before the season that our goal is to make the playoffs and to have that experience and have the chance to win the Stanley Cup. I’m still focusing on that,” said Pastrnak, who has yet to experience the Stanley Cup playoffs in his two-plus seasons with the Black and Gold. “We have zero points from tonight’s game and we have to move on. I think our game gets better in the second and third periods, you know, and we have to regroup and get ready for Saturday’s game.”
The Bruins will undoubtedly regroup and once again count on another Pastrnak offensive explosion to help lead the way in what’s become a truly spectacular season for the youngster.
US ambassador to Japan?
Bobby Valentine is on the short list for that position in President Donald Trump’s administration, according to a WEEI.com report.
The former Red Sox manager (fired after a 69-93 season and last-place finish in 2012), and ex-New York Mets and Texas Rangers, skipper, also managed the Chiba Lotte Marines in Japan’s Pacific League for six seasons.
Valentine, 66, has known the President-elect and Trump's brother Bob since the 1980s, is close to others on Trump’s transition team and has had preliminary discussions about the ambassador position, according to WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford.
Valentine, currently the athletic director of Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn., is also friendly with current Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who, like Valentine, attended the University of Southern California.