After falling quick final postseason within the NBA Finals, one factor grew to become evidently clear to the Boston Celtics: Robert Williams is essential to the ceiling of this workforce. Williams was integral to the workforce’s top-ranked protection, and it’s no shock that the workforce’s defensive stats started to slowly tick upwards following his return this season.
Two surgical procedures later, and it nonetheless stays the identical: the Celtics are merely a greater workforce with Williams out on the ground. Boston’s teaching and medical workers wanted to place their heads collectively on how you can get probably the most out of his minutes, whereas additionally avoiding reinjury or pushing him past his limits. Finally, having Rob come off the bench in the interim is a implausible transfer, and one that would pay dividends in the long term for all events.
Operating a double massive lineup is efficient and the stats again it up, however with Al Horford getting older and Robert Williams coping with accidents, it’s not a sensible or sustainable choice. Whereas it may be used in opposition to particular opponents to match their dimension (see Cleveland Cavaliers), the Celtics are higher off staggering Horford and Williams and beginning Derrick White in Rob’s place.
Horford’s minutes have been managed properly by Boston too, because the veteran has not performed on the second leg of back-to-backs, much like what the Celtics did for Kemba Walker together with his continual knee points. Up to now, the strategy has been extraordinarily efficient in preserving Horford recent, and for Robert Williams coming off the bench, it’s the perfect of each worlds. It permits Williams to cut back his workload by way of minutes, in addition to wreak havoc in opposition to opposing second models.
Thursday evening was a reminder of how impactful Robert Williams might be when his well being is managed, dropping 7 factors on 3-3 taking pictures together with 7 rebounds, an help, 4 blocks, and a steal in virtually 19 minutes of ground time. His highlights from Boston’s 140-99 blowout included a block on Giannis Antetokounmpo. It will be higher for each Williams and the Celtics to proceed using him in his present position, or at the very least till he will get by means of the offseason into subsequent season.
Derrick White has accomplished greater than sufficient to earn a beginning position on this workforce as at present constructed, and has been an ironman for the Celtics, not lacking a single sport in the course of the season. His emergence in 12 months Two has made it simpler and possible to vary again to a single massive lineup, and the mix of Horford plus Sensible-White-Brown-Tatum maximizes the Celtics’ defensive capabilities whereas additionally preserving one in every of their finest offensive models on the ground.
Coach Mazzulla says Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, and Payton Pritchard will play tonight. Rob Williams and Al Horford are each out. Blake Griffin will begin.
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) March 31, 2023
Resting Robert Williams in video games like Friday evening in opposition to the Jazz simply make sense if the long-term objective is to win an NBA championship. Boston has gone out and bought gamers like Luke Kornet, Blake Griffin, and Mike Muscala to flesh out depth on the 4 and 5 spots for this precise objective.
Jaylen Brown has stated it. Jayson Tatum has expressed it, too. Al Horford as properly. This workforce is aware of how essential Robert Williams is and the distinction he makes when he’s on the ground. If one of the simplest ways to realize that is to maintain him in a bench position, then that’s that. With out Williams near full energy, successful an NBA championship is all of the tougher on the remainder of the roster.