I Believe in Time Lord...Why Can't You?

lovegtm

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 30, 2013
7,467
Kiev, Ukraine
Well, clearly coming off of the best and most important 2 games of his career.
Yeah, you always want to weight playoff games a lot more highly in player evaluation, particularly if you're not just talking about shooting variance. (My evaluation of Marcus Smart as a shooter doesn't change much one way or the other based on last night.)

The things he's showing are non-variance-based, and are coming against an intense, prepared opponent.
 

NomarsFool

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 21, 2001
4,853
During the game I mentioned to my friend that it seemed just like classic TL. He has a good game, and then goes down with an injury. He came back, so maybe it's not that bad, but the guy has consistently gotten hurt every time he seems to be developing.
 

TripleOT

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 4, 2007
3,718
TL helped push the first quarter lead in game 1, and kept the Cs in it in the first quarter of game 2. He's a game changer at both ends, and if he's slowed by that fall after the monster putback dunk, the Celtics will have to go in another direction to get a spark of the bench. Maybe dust of Kanter to abuse the Raps in the paint.
 

slamminsammya

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2006
4,526
Palo Alto
TL helped push the first quarter lead in game 1, and kept the Cs in it in the first quarter of game 2. He's a game changer at both ends, and if he's slowed by that fall after the monster putback dunk, the Celtics will have to go in another direction to get a spark of the bench. Maybe dust of Kanter to abuse the Raps in the paint.
I'm not sure he's the right kind of game changer on the defensive end. But he could be one day
 

Jed Zeppelin

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 23, 2008
40,324
I don’t want to call next season a make or break for Williams, but it is likely a rising-stud-or-role-player season and I mean that in the best way possible. Getting in a full healthy season is steps 1, 2, and 3, with the remaining steps being whether or not the game has slowed down enough for him to be just a step quicker on his defensive rotations and a tad better at staying home on pump fakes and the like.

Throw some added strength in there and who knows. “Starting center on championship quality team” is actually a pretty low bar if the other pieces + scheme are right. I know they prefer the starting big to hit threes but hard not to like the elements that Williams brings to the table if he can bring a bit more refinement in the coming season and reliably hit FT jumpers. It can take bigs some time but year 3 is usually critical.
 

NomarsFool

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 21, 2001
4,853
He seems to have added the mid-range jumper to his arsenal this year, which gives him another way to contribute on the offensive end besides lobs.
 

128

Member
SoSH Member
May 4, 2019
2,823
He seems to have added the mid-range jumper to his arsenal this year, which gives him another way to contribute on the offensive end besides lobs.
Time Lord's offense is progressing nicely. His defense--apart from his shot-blocking--is where he has significant ground to make up.
 

Imbricus

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 26, 2017
2,771
Centers are supposed to be the slowest to develop, right? Well, he's 22, so it seems he's on a promising track.

Two areas where I've seen a noticeable improvement: (1) He's getting into better position on rebounds, and is more often grabbing them with authority instead of tipping them away to who knows who (2) He is actually setting muscular screens; his first year he would set the worst, most useless screens -- he'd run out to the spot and immediately peel away, without any contact with the defender, like he was just going through the motions.
 

Dahabenzapple2

Mr. McGuire
SoSH Member
Jun 20, 2011
7,962
Wayne, NJ
Centers are supposed to be the slowest to develop, right? Well, he's 22, so it seems he's on a promising track.

Two areas where I've seen a noticeable improvement: (1) He's getting into better position on rebounds, and is more often grabbing them with authority instead of tipping them away to who knows who (2) He is actually setting muscular screens; his first year he would set the worst, most useless screens -- he'd run out to the spot and immediately peel away, without any contact with the defender, like he was just going through the motions.
I think Brad needs to up his minutes tonight. Now is the time as the above numbers do not lie.
 

DannyDarwinism

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 7, 2007
4,618
He's definitely put some work into improving his screening, which is great to see. He still has a ways to go in defending the pick and roll so that he isn't played off the floor by the likes of Serge Ibaka, but he's got the quick feet and lateral movement to do it, so it's just a matter of technique. He has some pretty low-hanging fruit to work on to improve his game up to the point where he's a 25-30 mpg player whose strengths aren't undermined by his weaknesses. He needs to work on conditioning, PnR technique, and continue to hone that 18 footer, but if he puts in the work like the rest of the young guys on this team do, he'll become a really useful player with some serious upside.
 

TripleOT

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 4, 2007
3,718
To me, TL's biggest problem is focus. We saw it in Game 5 when he was inserted into the game with the Cs up big, and he was soft on a couple of offensive possessions. On one, as soon as he caught the inbound pass at the top of the three point line, I knew he was in trouble by how he poorly he came to the ball. On that play, VV stripped him and ran out the other way. Brad took him out and replaced him with the focused Williams, Grant.

When TL was mentally locked in this series, he's been very good. Boston could use one more good game out of him to close out TOR, and certainly will need him to deal with Bam, if the Cs advance to play Miami.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 26, 2005
21,791
To me, TL's biggest problem is focus. We saw it in Game 5 when he was inserted into the game with the Cs up big, and he was soft on a couple of offensive possessions. On one, as soon as he caught the inbound pass at the top of the three point line, I knew he was in trouble by how he poorly he came to the ball. On that play, VV stripped him and ran out the other way. Brad took him out and replaced him with the focused Williams, Grant.

When TL was mentally locked in this series, he's been very good. Boston could use one more good game out of him to close out TOR, and certainly will need him to deal with Bam, if the Cs advance to play Miami.
The Athletic article about the coaching back and forth someone posted in another thread suggested (at least the snippet that was included) that TOR was hunting TL as he is good on the initial PnR action but can be gotten by subsequent actions. I'm sure Brad saw this and that had a lot to do with why he got limited minutes. Hopefully he'll be more locked in for G6.
 

benhogan

Granite Truther
SoSH Member
Nov 2, 2007
10,521
Santa Monica
He's definitely put some work into improving his screening, which is great to see. He still has a ways to go in defending the pick and roll so that he isn't played off the floor by the likes of Serge Ibaka, but he's got the quick feet and lateral movement to do it, so it's just a matter of technique. He has some pretty low-hanging fruit to work on to improve his game up to the point where he's a 25-30 mpg player whose strengths aren't undermined by his weaknesses. He needs to work on conditioning, PnR technique, and continue to hone that 18 footer, but if he puts in the work like the rest of the young guys on this team do, he'll become a really useful player with some serious upside.
I'd settle for high energy, efficient 12-15mpg player.

If the Celtics ever had to count on TL for 25-30 mpg I'd be concerned. His style of play/position/history screams nagging injuries/IR.
 

NomarsFool

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 21, 2001
4,853
Is it me, or does TL seem to end up flat on his back a lot? Obviously he jumps a lot, maybe he has an abnormal center of gravity or something.
 

DannyDarwinism

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 7, 2007
4,618
I'd settle for high energy, efficient 12-15mpg player.

If the Celtics ever had to count on TL for 25-30 mpg I'd be concerned. His style of play/position/history screams nagging injuries/IR.
That’s a very fair point.

I think it has to be good for a kid with focus and work habit issues to be contributing to a young team’s playoff run like this. He’s surrounded by grinders who are mature beyond their years, and they seem really supportive of one another. Seems like he often looks to Marcus and Theis for input after play stoppages. The Celtics really do seem to have a great environment for kids patiently nurturing young talent.
 

lovegtm

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 30, 2013
7,467
Kiev, Ukraine
This series feels like it has to have room for Time Lord. He can't be on the floor with Olynyk, but if he gets his 10-15 minutes against Bam, it could be a good matchup for him. Bam isn't a threat to shoot, so he can stay more zoned up in the middle, and Bam struggles against length in the post from what I've seen. The X factor there would be if the Robinson/Bam handoff game gives him trouble, in which case he'll be glued to the bench.
 

Over Guapo Grande

panty merchant
SoSH Member
Nov 29, 2005
2,139
Worcester
In football there is the practice squad, in NHL there are the Black Aces. Extra bodies that you can put out there to attempt to simulate looks that the opposition gives you? In NBA practices, how well can they (the subs) try to simulate an offense/defense of the opponent, while also getting in reps against that look? Or is it "you gotta learn ours, you gotta learn thier's" . Maybe this is best for @reggiecleveland and all other coaches out there.
 

joe dokes

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 18, 2005
19,335
This series feels like it has to have room for Time Lord. He can't be on the floor with Olynyk, but if he gets his 10-15 minutes against Bam, it could be a good matchup for him. Bam isn't a threat to shoot, so he can stay more zoned up in the middle, and Bam struggles against length in the post from what I've seen. The X factor there would be if the Robinson/Bam handoff game gives him trouble, in which case he'll be glued to the bench.
Since series like this are often about surprises, i wonder if we see TL in the game because he might be able to exploit an offensive advantage -- sort of what we've expected to see from Kanter --- instead of being limited mostly to situations where he can excel on defense without getting exposed.
 

benhogan

Granite Truther
SoSH Member
Nov 2, 2007
10,521
Santa Monica
Since series like this are often about surprises, i wonder if we see TL in the game because he might be able to exploit an offensive advantage -- sort of what we've expected to see from Kanter --- instead of being limited mostly to situations where he can excel on defense without getting exposed.
I'd expect to see a 3 headed Center position of Theis/Grant/TL....not liking the idea of Kanter on the floor with Butler/Dragic..

but trust the Brad 5-Machine to make life more difficult for Bam then most are predicting
 

bakahump

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jan 8, 2001
6,649
Maine
Well he was giving up 4 inches and 40lbs. And after the first couple of easy buckets from the Block by Embiid he did exactly what Scal suggested he should do and was starting him further out. And you know Embiid is pretty good.
 

Bernie Carbohydrate

writes the Semi-Fin
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 2, 2001
3,062
South Carolina via Dorchestah
Meh. It was one preseason game --against a center in Embiid who can dominate the post when we wants to.

The good news is that TL got Embiid to settle for some jumpers too, and that's the trick. Embiid is going to score in the paint -- he is too strong and talented to be completely shut down. But TL is learning what Horford already knew-- get on Embiid early in the shot clock, don't let him set up camp down low, and of course be active on offense so Embiid gets tired.

I'm still on the Rob Williams train-- 4-for-5 for eight points, collected six rebounds, was active, and sent that weak Shake Milton shot into the fifteenth row. He looks healthy. This is his year.

 
Last edited:

128

Member
SoSH Member
May 4, 2019
2,823
Well he was giving up 4 inches and 40lbs. And after the first couple of easy buckets from the Block by Embiid he did exactly what Scal suggested he should do and was starting him further out. And you know Embiid is pretty good.
Yeah, I thought Weiss was a little harsh in that critique. The caveat--that Embiid, for all his flaws, is one of the NBA's elite players and a monster physically–was mentioned and then kind of dismissed.
 

DannyDarwinism

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 7, 2007
4,618
Unfortunately, I think Weiss nails it- he made a lot of the same mistakes last night that he has always made, which is discouraging. Leaving his feet too soon, dropping way to low on good shooters coming off of the screen, and generally just being a step behind in processing rotations.

The mental aspect of the game is the reason he slid so far, but he’s at the age where bigs often start to put it together and he’s in a good environment to learn, so I’m hopeful he’s developing good habits. In recent interviews he sounds more composed and knowledgeable, which is good to hear. He needs reps to really start putting everything together, but I’m concerned his lack of improvement in some important areas is likely to lead Brad to keep him stapled for the bench. Signing Thompson when we lacked wing depth wasn’t exactly a ringing endorsement of the team’s faith in him to provide decent back up minutes, but he really does have special vertical pop, and given his passing ability, you’d think there’s significant room for improvement on the game-processing front on defense. Hopefully we see some of that soon.
 

Van Everyman

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 30, 2009
19,678
Newton
He def. had a regression game last night -- candidly, I thought he looked terrible outside of that flurry of points, confused and out of sorts. But it's literally the first game back, on a short offseason, against possibly the worst matchup in the league. More to the point, my sense was that he actually grew a fair amount composure-wise from Year 1 to Year 2. For instance, that thing with him leaving his feet against Howard? I didn't see him do that, really, at all last year (after doing it all the time as a rookie). And offensively, he showed a nice eye for the pass last year. Last night looked a lot more like rookie Time Lord, not the sophomore version.

This is a guy who needs minutes -- hopefully they figure out a way to give them to him this year.
 

TrapperAB

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 25, 2002
2,019
West Hartford, CT
Is it just me, or are his high picks pretty lackluster? I realize he's thin, but the eye test says that he isn't aggressive when he puts his body on someone. It's like he's slipping the pick before he even sets it.
 

Imbricus

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 26, 2017
2,771
Is it just me, or are his high picks pretty lackluster?
Exactly. They're somewhere between eh and bad. But when he first got here, those picks were just him going through the motions in space, so he's getting better at least. I like Rob a lot, but last night was not one of his better games.
 

128

Member
SoSH Member
May 4, 2019
2,823
The box score doesn't necessarily reflect it, but Robert Williams played one of his best games as a Celtic, I thought. He didn't have many highlight-reel plays, but he avoided the lapses that so often are an issue with him on defense. It was great to see.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 26, 2005
21,791
The box score doesn't necessarily reflect it, but Robert Williams played one of his best games as a Celtic, I thought. He didn't have many highlight-reel plays, but he avoided the lapses that so often are an issue with him on defense. It was great to see.
Interesting you say that because my initial impression without taking the ti e to really study him is that TL got lost on defense on a couple of possession that lead to layups or shots plus he wasn't a factor defensive rebounding. OTOH he did grab 3 ORbs and at least one putback so he was better on that end.

Still a work in progress but MIL is a bad match-up for him IMO.
 

NomarsFool

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 21, 2001
4,853
I’m a TL fan, but I was not impressed. He had one good block, but on offense he did little other than hand the ball off. He fumbled at least one chance near the rim - can’t tell if it was his fault or a bad pass.
 

bellowthecat

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 18, 2010
365
Milton, MA
I thought he played well for him in this game. Bucks play fast and furious and he was mostly invisible. He lost his discipline and put himself out of position on Giannis on the perimeter that lead to an easy bucket, but that seemed the only real mental lapse to me. Crazy how far off the ball teams play him when he's doing handoffs in the high post. I wonder how that jumper is feeling right now because he was getting all the space in the world from those elbows.
 

lovegtm

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 30, 2013
7,467
Kiev, Ukraine
The amount of core strength he's added is crazy. Banging like that with Valanciunas and Sabonis would have been unthinkable for him a year ago.

And his playmaking instinct on the offensive end is completely ridiculous for a center. Screening much improved too. Excited to see what happens with more reps to work on defensive kinks.
 
Last edited:

Jed Zeppelin

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 23, 2008
40,324
The amount of core strength he's added is crazy. Banging like that with Valanciunas and Sabonis would have been unthinkable for him a year ago.

And his playmaking instinct on the offensive end is completely ridiculous for a center. Screening much improved too. Excited to see what happens with more reps to work on defensive kinks.
If he can hang with beefier guys like that it makes a huge difference. He’ll always be able to out-leap them, so if he knows he doesn’t have to sell out for blocks as the only way to stop a bigger guy, you might see a lot more plays like the downright disrespectful rejection of Valenciunas’ turnaround attempt.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 26, 2005
21,791
Keith Smith: "I've been one of the bigger Robert Williams critics. He's improving rapidly now and needs to play around 20 MPG. Here's my two favorite plays from last night. First, he contests against Sabonis, rebounds and then sprints the floor for the dunk. Brown with another nice pass too!

This second one is my favorite play Williams had. Tatum gets the steal but turns it right back over. Williams has already started to sprint the other way. When the shot goes up, he's not even in the picture. He apparates back in the play to tip the rebound away from Sabonis.
"

View: https://twitter.com/KeithSmithNBA/status/1344299342757310464
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 26, 2005
21,791
The amount of core strength he's added is crazy. Banging like that with Valanciunas and Sabonis would have been unthinkable for him a year ago.

And his playmaking instinct on the offensive end is completely ridiculous for a center. Screening much improved too. Excited to see what happens with more reps to work on defensive kinks.
The Cs needed to develop RWill and it looks like they are doing a good job with it (though slowly). FWIW, RWill has best ORtg (144), DRtg (105), and WS/48 (.243) of any rotation player. He's only averaging 17 mpg right now; I think that needs to be upped even if he makes mistakes. As Marcus says, he really adds to the Cs defense and with the threat of him rolling to the rim, it opens up drives for other players.

He and PP are developing a connection; hopefully we'll get to see this all year.

Between Romeo and RWill, the Cs have some talent available - if they can just stay healthy.
 

reggiecleveland

sublime
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Mar 5, 2004
23,098
Saskatoon Canada
His effort level has been exceptional. That type of big off the bench in invaluable. At the moment, very easrly, the best case scenario of free agent sighnings, that Pritichard and TL are pushing Teague and Thompson for playing time is showing legs.

To my eyes TL's biggest improvement is in defence rotations. Last year he was bit hesitant, and lost so seemed like he wasn't playing hard. Often big guys get called soft when they are just not confident.

Also when the Pacers just ignored him on O and he took a dribble in and made a jumper I was mildly excited.