NBA Playoffs: Sixers, Williams ready for a battle

In many ways, Lou Williams is the pulse of the Sixers’ locker room. He’s the one with the oversized headphones, hammering away on Twitter, always joking with teammates and in a good mood.

So when Williams pulled his hamstring with five games left in the regular season, the Sixers lost more than their best pure scorer.

“Lou is our personality,” coach Doug Collins said. “He’s our voice. He gets us into the huddles; he gets us out of the huddles. He gets the guys before the game and after the game. We missed his voice, his energy and his personality.”

It’s not a coincidence the Sixers lost four of those final five games without Williams and then dropped three more while he was trying to get his legs under him in the playoffs. Without the defensively challenged combo guard, Andre Iguodala was forced to take on far too many one-on-one situations offensively.

“Honestly, I think every shot Lou shoots is going to go in. Seriously,” Jrue Holiday said after Game 4. “Definitely in big times, he’s the go-to [guy].”

The Heat’s defense has been suffocating at times, holding the Sixers to 85.5 points per game on 40 percent shooting. In order to shock the world and win Game 5 in Miami, the Sixers will need plenty of points out of Williams. He scored 11 of their 17 fourth-quarter points Sunday.

“Now the battle that I’m dealing with is my fatigue,” Williams said. “It’s going to be a battle, man.”

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