Closer look at why Rob Williams will be a starter before the end of the season

"Savvy" was not a term used when discussing Rob Williams' basketball IQ last season. Despite the length and athleticism, he often looked confused out on the floor. That is changing. In his rookie season, he only played in 32 games and averaged 8.8 minutes per game. He has played in all three regular season games thus far this season - averaging 15.7 minutes per contest.


This play set up by Brad Stevens, and broken down by @NBEinstein, is a classic representation of Brad's smarts and Rob's progression. The precise use of screens and back-screen work perfectly, allowing Gordon Hayward an almost-clear path to the hoop for the score.


There is no hesitation on Williams' part. He gets in position for the pass - takes one dribble for the hand-off to Gordon - and moves right to the hoop with Hayward for the possible lob pass or rebound.

Rob has come a long way from his missed-conference-call incident following his pick at #27 in the 2018 NBA draft. He attributes that missed call to a time-zone issue - which led to his TIMELORD moniker that needs to quietly disappear. Hey, Sam Jones told me that he missed his first team meeting after being drafted by the Celtics and got chewed out by Red Auerbach in front of the entire team. "Where the fuck were you?" was the gentle inquiry uttered by the fiery Celtics coach. But look at how that turned out.

Rob Williams is up to almost 16 minutes per game this season, and that figure may double if he blossoms as hoped. Brad will start the year with a center-by-committee approach, but right now, Rob seems the go-to guy at that position if he polishes a few of his rough edges.

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