The Boston Celtics will finally get second-year big man Robert Williams back in the rotation, which will help the team defensively.
The only thing that can prevent the 2019-20 Boston Celtics from making a deep playoff run is health.
The big, versatile second-year Texas product has been out of commission due to pain related to hip edema. For a player who can jump out of any gym, the ailment really impacts the things he can do best on the court.
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With the proper amount of rest, it’s safe to say both the team and Robert Williams himself is excited to have him cleared to play.
"“Rob has been cleared to play, so it’ll be very limited for the first couple games,” Stevens said at the team’s practice Friday, as transcribed by Masslive.com. “That’s great news obviously. We’re excited, nobody moreso than Rob.”"
Though both Daniel Theis and Enes Kanter has been holding it down at the center position since Williams has been out, the quickness and mobility he encompasses as an athletic big is something the team will need going forward and into the playoffs.
With the way Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown have been playing, along with the eventual return of Kemba Walker, scoring will not be a problem for the Boston Celtics. On the defensive end, the team can hold their own against most teams, but when they face athletic bigs, that is where Williams will be an x-factor.
While only averaging 14.2 minutes per game in 19 appearances, Robert Williams did showcase his potential as a rim-protecting, rebounding machine who plays above the rim on both ends of the court.
He just averaged 3.9 points, but the 22-year old can contribute offensively with his passing and in pick-and-roll situations that usually results in him rattling the rim.
So, while as fans we can’t expect Timelord to completely solve the team’s big man issue, his athleticism definitely gives them depth at the position and allows Brad Stevens to do more inventive things defensively with Robert Williams out there on the floor.
Not only does he provide shot blocking, but he has an ability to defend smaller players due to his quickness and bigger players due to his high-flying style. Those two facets to his defensive game are what makes him an x-factor moving forward. If he improves with his discipline, the minutes will certainly decrease.
With no help coming in way of the buyout market, the return of Robert Williams is something the Boston Celtics are now relying on like it or not.