Dealing with off in opposition to the Houston Rockets, Robert Williams received the battle of rising large males. Lining up in opposition to Christan Wooden, whose inventory has been growing over the past 18 months, Williams dominated final night time’s proceedings with swagger and decisiveness.
“His passing, his effort, and when he’s at his greatest, his inside protection. Once we’ve been good, and he’s been good, these have stood out,” Brad Stevens stated when requested about Williams’ close to triple-double efficiency.
Williams is on a four-game stretch as a starter (out sick for the Dallas recreation). The Celtics are 3-1 with the massive man averaging 10.8 factors, 10.5 rebounds, and 5.3 assists over 27.8 minutes per recreation.
“I’m getting far more snug with the extra minutes I’ve performed. And if it stays that manner, I’m going to get higher.” Williams stated after posting 20 factors (on an ideal 9-for-9 from the sector), 9 rebounds, and eight assists.
Once we consider Williams’ passing capacity, sometimes, it’s hitting cutters from the perimeter in a delay formation or we envision secondary creation off the short-roll. But, in current video games, Williams has been flashing some high-IQ seems to be 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 can be ranked fourth leaguewide.
On the above clip, we see Williams rebounding and passing capacity 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 straightforward Kemba Walker three. It’s an instinctual play that solely few gamers are able to.
“I believe that each good large man that passes on this league does that (kick out to the perimeter.) Rob, clearly, has been passer from day one.” Stevens defined whereas discussing Williams affect as a passer.
Proper now, Williams is twenty fifth amongst bigs for assists per recreation – averaging 1.7 per night time. Nevertheless, his performances as a starter may have the Texas A&M alum battling it out with the likes of Nikola Jokic and Bam Adebayo within the dialogue for greatest passing large man as early as subsequent season.
“Making the precise rim learn is vital. Generally you might have dunks, typically you might have a chance to complete via or over folks. However lots of instances, you might have lots of people operating at you, and it’s going to be a more durable shot than a easy lay-in. So, the nook kick-out, the spray out, is what good passing big-men do.” Stevens defined, as he expanded on the significance of getting large males who can learn the protection earlier than redirecting the ball outdoors to shooters.
Exterior 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 studying my spots. I’m studying the place I’m going to attain it: off seals, throw-backs, off tip-ins, ready round for the rebound. I needed to take time to appreciate the place I’m going to get the factors 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 received to create an important synergy with the starters so far as serving to them get open, and serving to get them the precise seems to be – I assumed he did an important job tonight,” Stevens stated after Boston’s current win over Milwaukee.
Williams was additionally a pressure on the defensive finish. Excluding rubbish time minutes, Williams ranked second with Jaylen Brown (101.8 defensive ranking) behind solely Marcus Good, who ended the sport with a 97.6 defensive ranking. It’s value noting that no Rockets participant had a defensive ranking under 115.5.
Williams touched on his defensive progress post-game. “My efficiency tonight, is a confidence booster 1000%. I see my job as being the defensive anchor. Form of being the quarterback of seeing all the pieces, directing folks, 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 lots of assist rotations to make all through the sport.
Within the above play, it’s Williams’ assist protection that runs Kelly Olynyk into bother and in the end forces the turnover. A fast determination to chop off the baseline leaves the Rockets newest large man acquisition with nowhere to go, earlier than Williams garners the steal to launch a quick break alternative.
Performs just like the one above are rapidly turning 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 determination to make within the coming days. It’s turning into more and more clear that Williams is prepared for this bigger position he’s just lately been afforded, and the group’s performances with him within the beginning unit are backing that up.