Robert Williams has been oozing potential ever since he was drafted three years ago by the Boston Celtics. He had the athleticism and rim-running ability that teams look for in their bigs. Also, he had defensive ability stemming from college.
However, we saw growing pains early on in his career. He looked lost out there at times, especially offensively. Nonetheless, he’s still young and improving.
Last season saw a positive progression in his game. He improved in every statistical category. He finished with eight points per game, 6.9 blocks per game, and 1.8 blocks per game.
That was an extreme improvement from the previous season. He was a force during the second half of last year. The Celtics were impressed by this so much they extended him for the future.
The potential to get better is still there, as it’s expected for him to receive a bigger role. The Celtics see him as their future center for a good reason. He’s ready and here’s why.
He Keeps Improving with More Minutes
The first three years have seen a consistent pattern for Williams. That is, the more playing time he receives, the better he gets.
Year one saw him playing 8.8 minutes per game. The following year saw an increase to 13.4 minutes with this past season going to 18.9.
The one thing that’s always going to stay the same is his high shooting percentage. In his three seasons thus far, he has not shot lower than 70% from the field. Then there are the per 36 numbers.
His per 36 points per game stood at 15.2, while the rebounds were at 13.1. Then there are the blocks, which were at 3.3 per game. His per 36 numbers look like Rudy Gobert stats.
The conclusion is not that more minutes means an All-Star career, but instead speaks to how ready he is to receive a bigger role for the Celtics.
One of the best professionals still in the league is Al Horford, who was beloved in his first stint with the Celtics. Now he’s back once again. His ability is still there, but not at an All-Star level.
He still brings a veteran presence and commands respect. His mission should not only be to help the Celtics win games, but also help Williams improve his game.
Horford had a lot of tools in his game, which made him versatile. He and Williams aren’t the same type of player, but perhaps Williams can adapt some of the things Horford does into his game.
A veteran big can really help Williams transition from a simple role playing big to a starter. Watch out for a breakout season for the fourth year big.