Facing off towards the Houston Rockets, Robert Williams received the battle of rising huge males. Lining up towards Christan Wood, whose inventory has been growing during the last 18 months, Williams dominated final night time’s proceedings with swagger and decisiveness.
“His passing, his effort, and when he’s at his best, his interior defense. When we’ve been good, and he’s been good, those have stood out,” Brad Stevens mentioned when requested about Williams’ close to triple-double efficiency.
Williams is on a four-game stretch as a starter (out sick for the Dallas sport). The Celtics are 3-1 with the large man averaging 10.8 factors, 10.5 rebounds, and 5.3 assists over 27.8 minutes per sport.
“I’m getting way more comfortable with the more minutes I’ve played. And if it stays that way, I’m going to get better.” Williams mentioned after posting 20 factors (on an ideal 9-for-9 from the sector), 9 rebounds, and eight assists.
When we consider Williams’ passing capability, sometimes, it’s hitting cutters from the perimeter in a delay formation or we envision secondary creation off the short-roll. Yet, in latest video games, Williams has been flashing some high-IQ seems across the rim by spraying the ball again outdoors as defenses collapse to contest Williams across the cup.
Since getting into the beginning lineup, Williams is averaging 4 offensive boards per night time. If the Louisiana native had been doing this quantity of labor on the offensive glass all season, he could be ranked fourth leaguewide.
On the above clip, we see Williams rebounding and passing capability on show as he battles to maintain a possession alive following a Jayson Tatum miss earlier than redirecting the rock again to the perimeter for a simple Kemba Walker three. It’s an instinctual play that solely few gamers are able to.
“I think that every good big man that passes in this league does that (kick out to the perimeter.) Rob, obviously, has been a good passer from day one.” Stevens defined whereas discussing Williams impression as a passer.
Right now, Williams is twenty fifth amongst bigs for assists per sport – averaging 1.7 per night time. However, his performances as a starter might have the Texas A&M alum battling it out with the likes of Nikola Jokic and Bam Adebayo within the dialogue for greatest passing huge man as early as subsequent season.
“Making the right rim read is important. Sometimes you have dunks, sometimes you have an opportunity to finish through or over people. But a lot of times, you have a lot of people running at you, and it’s going to be a tougher shot than a simple lay-in. So, t he corner kick-out, the spray out, is what good passing big-men do.” Stevens defined, as he expanded on the significance of getting huge males who can learn the protection earlier than redirecting the ball outdoors to shooters.
Outside of his passing, Williams additionally posted a profession excessive in factors, as he dropped a 20-piece on the Rockets with 100% accuracy, together with going 2-for-3 from the free throw line.
“I’m learning my spots. I’m learning where I’m going to score it: off seals, throw-backs, off tip-ins, waiting around for the rebound. I had to take time to realize where I’m going to get the points from,” Williams detailed when requested about his scoring exploits after failing to register double-digit numbers in his earlier three video games as a starter.
Williams feedback additionally feed off a earlier message from Brad Stevens.
“He’s got to create a great synergy with the starters as far as helping them get open, and helping get them the right looks – I thought he did a great job tonight,” Stevens mentioned after Boston’s latest win over Milwaukee.
Williams was additionally a power on the defensive finish. Excluding rubbish time minutes, Williams ranked second with Jaylen Brown (101.8 defensive score) behind solely Marcus Smart, who ended the sport with a 97.6 defensive score. It’s price noting that no Rockets participant had a defensive score beneath 115.5.
Williams touched on his defensive development post-game. “My performance tonight, is a confidence booster 1000%. I see my job as being the defensive anchor. Kind of being the quarterback of seeing everything, directing people, scramming my little guys out – that’s my job.”
With the Rockets making a concerted effort to assault Kemba Walker and Evan Fournier within the put up by regularly forcing unfavorable switches, Williams had numerous assist rotations to make all through the sport.
In the above play, it’s Williams’ assist protection that runs Kelly Olynyk into bother and finally forces the turnover. A fast choice to chop off the baseline leaves the Rockets newest huge man acquisition with nowhere to go, earlier than Williams garners the steal to launch a quick break alternative.
Plays just like the one above are rapidly changing into par for the course, as Williams continues to evolve into a good high-IQ rim protector that doesn’t solely depend on his athleticism to discourage shot makes an attempt.
With Tristan Thompson nonetheless out to well being & security protocols, and Robert Williams discovering a rhythm with the beginning unit, Brad Stevens goes to have a really powerful choice to make within the coming days. It’s changing into more and more clear that Williams is prepared for this bigger position he’s not too long ago been afforded, and the crew’s performances with him within the beginning unit are backing that up.
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