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There were not a lot of highlights in Boston's lackluster performance in their 102-95 loss to Cleveland last night, but rookie Rob Williams remains a bright spot. He only played nine minutes but made the most of them.


Rob scored six points on 3-of-4 shooting from the floor, the only shot he missed being a 3-pointer. He took down four boards, two of them of the offensive variety, followed by smooth put-backs in each case. His other hoop followed an effective pick and roll, ending in a jam. He also picked up a steal and a block. Projecting his nine-minute stats to per-36-minutes yields 24 points, 16 rebounds, four steals and four blocks. Wouldn't that be great if this was his potential?



Watching the excellent highlight video above, our readers can see why I am optimistic. Williams has a nose for the ball on rebounds. Beyond that, he has the strength to maintain his position under the hoop, and the height and wingspan to corral the ball.

On the periphery, he has the speed and mobility to defend any opponent - and surprisingly for a rookie - the savvy to know where he needs to be on both offense and defense. I did not expect that in him quite so soon. For a first-year guy, he seems to have a decent basketball IQ.

My readers know I am a we'll see - for now - so far individual, and I try not to get too excited too soon on any rookie coming to Boston. Beyond the numbers, Rob stays within his abilities. The Celtics shot a miserable 16.1% from beyond the arc, but Williams kept his game in close to the hoop - and it worked. His mid-range, and even long-range, games will come with time, but right now what he does is just fine for the team and himself. Brad Stevens is working him into the system slowly, and Robert's knees seem to be healthy and strong. Nice to have him here in Boston.

Follow Tom at @TomLaneHC

Photo via Charles Krupa/AP photo
Video via Tomasz Kordelewski

Tom Lane 10/03/2018 07:53:00 AM Edit
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