Lou Williams at first tried to downplay his first return tonight to play the 76ers, but the Atlanta Hawks guard then quickly changed gears and admitted that this is not a typical NBA game.
Williams played his first seven years with the Sixers and is in his first season with the Hawks. He is enjoying the same success in the super-sub role.
Last season Williams led the Sixers in scoring, averaging 14.9 points. This season he is averaging 14.3 points for the surprising 15-8 Hawks, who trail first place Miami by two games in the Southeast Division.
"It's one of those games that will be emotional," Williams said following this morning's shootaround at the Wells Fargo Center.
Williams said he isn't sure if the Hawks come back to Philadelphia. (The Hawks will visit the Sixers on April 10).
"This is my first time back and I spent a lot of time in this city, obviously," Williams said. "For me to come back, it's going to be fun and a game I look forward to and the most important part is trying to win the game."
Williams talked about the type of reaction he expects.
"Booing and Lou-in, I don't recognize the difference," Williams said. "I am sure it will be mixed. I know how the city works so it doesn't matter."
The key for Williams is not to attempt to perform out of character.
"For any player who played in a city and whether they were traded or left as a free agent and comes back, the mental state is always challenged," Hawks coach Larry Drew said. "The tendency I know is he will be hyped and excited about coming to play and it is important he is himself and plays under control and doesn't try to do too much and be himself."
Moultrie assigned to D-League
The Sixers have assigned rookie forward Arnett Moultrie to their NBA Development League affiliate the Sioux Falls Skyforce.
Moultrie, the 27th overall pick in the first round who was acquired in a draft night trade from Miami, appeared in 11 games for the Sixers, playing a total of 61 minutes.