2019-20 Breakout Player Series: Robert Williams
One of the most pressing issues for the Boston Celtics this upcoming season will be the team’s frontcourt rotation. Al Horford and Aron Baynes are gone, leaving two glaring holes upfront for the C’s.
Newcomer Enes Kanter might very well get the starting job for the Celtics, at least to start the season. He’s an established veteran, and a potent offensive weapon. His defense, though, leaves much to be desired.
Therein lies the biggest opportunity for second-year big man Robert Williams. There are still a number of question marks surrounding the Time Lord, but there is a chance for Williams to have a big season in Boston.
What Williams offers the Celtics is a shot at a true two-way center. That’s important for Boston; Between the hyper-tall Philadelphia 76ers and Giannis Antetonkounmpo’s Milwaukee Bucks, there is tremendous size at the top of the East. Rim protection will be of critical importance. Happily, this is an area where Williams has real potential
The aforementioned Enes Kanter doesn’t inspire fear on the defensive end. Daniel Theis, too, isn’t the most imposing down low, but he can step outside and shoot the three-ball. Frenchman Vincent Poirier might be a defensive force, but that has yet to be determined.
Against the likes of a DeAndre Jordan or Andre Drummond, the Celtics will need a big body that can defend the paint. Boston’s roster is the fourth shortest in the NBA in a season where there are plenty of big bodies to go around in the Eastern Conference.
Robert Williams, therefore, could carve out an important niche for the Celtics. The Time Lord showed off his immense athleticism in limited minutes as a rookie last year. If Williams can expand on the flashes he showed, he may become head coach Brad Stevens’ go-to defensive big man.
Williams has also shown some promise on the offensive end too. With Kemba Walker he could become a real lob threat out of the high pick and roll. It’s worth noting, though, that the Time Lord has yet to attempt a three-pointer in his NBA career. Still, there’s also a world where Williams earns his keep on both ends of the floor.
The Celtics are among the youngest teams in the Association; despite a good chance at a playoff berth, Boston will very much so be a work-in-progress all season long. Part of this youth movement may feature the Time Lord. Look out.