Photo: USA Today
By: Patrick Whalen
2018-19 Report Card:
On the latest edition of Report Cards, we’re talking none other than the Time Lord Robert Williams III. Williams was the Celtics first-round pick a year ago as he fell to them at the 27th overall pick. There were questions about Williams motor and hustle on the court and if he truly loved the game of basketball coming into the draft but at 27th overall, his talent was just too good to pass up on. Williams didn’t get off to a hot start in Boston when he missed his flight to Boston for his intro press conference. But despite the rough start and the hustle questions, GM Danny Ainge defended his first-round pick and said, “it’s hard to have a low motor and be Defensive Player of the Year two years in a row in a tough conference.” Williams was a defensive stud in two years at Texas A&M and between his defense and athleticism, the Celtics potentially stole a lottery pick talent at 27th overall.
Williams received limited playing time in his first year in Boston. The rookie only played in 32 games with 2 starts which is understandable with how talented the Celtics roster was last year. Williams was only averaging 8.8 minutes per game but in that short time, he made an impact, especially on the defensive end of the court. Time Lord averaged 2.5 ppg, 2.5 rpg, and 1.3 blocks per game, but his per 36-minute stats were even better. Per 36 minutes Williams would have been averaging 10.3 ppg, 10.3 rpg, and 5.1 blocks per game. Williams Offensively though Williams does need to broaden his scoring game as last year he was limited to on the block or catching lobs. To fulfill his potential in the modern-day NBA he’ll have to develop at least a decent mid-range jumper to keep teams honest.
But after last season I’m gonna give Williams a B- for his rookie season. The energy he brought off the bench was great in the short spurts he played, especially on the defensive end of the floor. Now as I said before, offensively he needs to improve and as a first-round pick, I kind of wish that he could have forced his way into the rotation more often, especially with the Celtics struggles to rebound and with post defense when Aron Baynes or Al Horford wasn’t on the floor. But overall not a bad rookie season for a young kid playing on a very deep roster.
Final Grade: B-
For this upcoming season, I see Williams definitely getting more minutes compared to last year. With the roster possessing more youth rather than experience, I think this will open the door for Time Lord to get consistent minutes as Williams and Daniel Theis are the only big men returning from last season. Plus with having 3 of the big man being NBA rookies Brad Stevens will have to lean on Williams, Theis and Enes Kanter as his experienced big men. Kanter and Theis’ lack of elite defensive abilities will also give Williams an opportunity early on as the Celtics new defensive specialist much like what Aron Baynes was for the past few seasons. Williams may even receive some spot starts if he shows he is the Celtics best option defensively, allowing Brad to start him against elite centers. Overall though I believe Williams second year will be an improvement for Williams simply because he should receive more minutes and opportunities which will allow his stats to increase across the board.
Predictions for 2019-20:
Games: 70 Starts: 14 MPG: 15.6 FGA: 3.3 FG%: 60.2 RPG: 6.3 PPG: 4.7 BLKs: 2.1
Now let’s take a look back at why the Celtics fell in love with the former Texas A&M big man.
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