Boston Celtics Rookie Robert Williams navigating some bumps in the offense

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Boston Celtics Rookie Robert Williams navigating some bumps in the offense

Post by bobheckler on Sat Jan 12, 2019 7:15 pm

Boston Celtics Rookie Robert Williams navigating some bumps in the offense, and other pregame notes

Updated 3:29 PM; Posted 3:29 PM

Boston Celtics center Robert Williams flexes during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Indiana Pacers in Boston, Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019. The Celtics defeated the Pacers 135-108. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa) (Charles Krupa)

By John Karalis |

Robert Williams became a cult favorite in Boston almost immediately. He became the Time Lord before playing any actual time, and once he did hit the floor, he’s been a shot-blocking, lob-catching fiend.

While those are great things for him to be doing on the floor, he’s still got a lot to figure out. The Miami Heat game was a classic example because Williams both changed the energy for the Celtics and gave them a chance to win, but also was bumping into players in half-court sets.

“There were a couple of screens and a couple of times on handoffs where he was a little behind the action, a little behind what the guard was trying to do on offense,” Brad Stevens said after the loss in Miami. “But when he puts pressure at the rims with his rolls and he defends the way he does, he gave us a good lift.”

“Me and him ran into each a few times,” Kyrie Irving said Thursday night. “He’s getting used to my game, so just continue to talk to him and be able to help him gain more information, or knowledge, on the game.”

“Just a learning process,” Williams told MassLive before the game against Orlando. “Obviously some of it will come more with being out there with him, but yeah we bumped into each other a couple of plays so yea just learning who on the team needs the screens who doesn’t need the screens. Kyrie obviously doesn’t need them so just working on those.”

“He’s almost like a clay figure right now that we’re just molding, or help molding,” Kyrie said in Miami. “He’s so athletic, so smart as a basketball player already but he just continues to get better so we want to see him do well but when we’re going against other athletic bigs, he really makes a difference.”

The Orlando Magic have a lot of those athletic bigs, so it’s possible Williams will get a chance to use his natural strengths again. The Magic frontcourt had a monster game against Boston in October, and with Aron Baynes still about a week away from returning, Williams needs to be ready to contribute.

“The frontcourt, 3, 4 and 5, (Jonathan) Isaac, (Aaron) Gordon and (Nikola) Vucevic had 55, 7 offensive rebounds, a couple corner crash rebounds where they tip-dunked it on us,” Stevens said in Orlando. “They really hurt us in the post on some of our switches, and then when we were late they hurt us making timely shots.”

Part of Williams' education is his communication with is teammates. Boston’s guards are more than happy to throw Williams lobs all day, but sometimes they may be a little too willing to test the far reaches of his athleticism.

“Just feels like they’re trying to play to my strengths,” Williams said. “You got guys like T-Ro (Terry Rozier) with the nice floater so when I set the screen and get out, I’m telling him they looking for me to catch the lob so I’m trying to help our scorers but it’s obviously just a great feeling that they trust me.”



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