There’s more intrigue surrounding Boston Celtics rookie Robert Williams than most players selected with the 27th pick in the draft, but that’s because the 21-year old from Shreveport, La., can do things on the court that few can emulate.
From swift rolls to the rim to violent blocked shots and gravity-defying dunks, Williams already possesses the “wow” attributes that draw so many fans to the game. It’s everything else on the hardwood that Williams is trying to improve upon.
With the guidance of Alex Barlow, a video assistant with the Celtics who has been assigned as Williams’ personal coach/liaison this season, Williams is working on some of the intricacies of the NBA game. Or, as Williams said prior to a Maine Red Claws game he was initially going to play in (he was called up by the Celtics hours before tipoff), some of the facets of the game he is working on include “selling out on defense,” “getting my shooters open” and “setting better screens on offense”.
Yet, when was the last time the Celtics had a big man with the raw athleticism of Williams? It’s a surprisingly difficult answer to come up with.
Whether Williams sticks in Boston long-term remains to be seen. With the Celtics competing for an NBA championship and established big men like Al Horford, Marcus Morris, Aron Baynes and Daniel Theis all blocking his path, Williams’ route to consistent minutes remains murky in the interim. He’s also a prime throw-in in any potential trade scenario this summer for Anthony Davis.
But should Williams stay in Boston and find himself with consistent playing time in Brad Stevens’ rotation, the sky literally could be the limit for the one Celtics Twitter donned the Timelord.
“I tried to stop TimeLord, but nicknames are going be nicknames and you can’t control it,” Williams said. “If there’s more fans it means more fans and I embrace it.”
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