Robert Williams, Season 5: Warping the Space-Time Continuum

reggiecleveland

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I don't know why they never run that for JT? The Celtics used to run that play for Pierce all the time.
My guess is they are committed to motion and slowing it for the post triangle is not what they want to do. Mos to of their post ups with Smart, Al are quick flashes. Also they are all shooters so other than TL the d is tight on guys making the high low pass tougher. Pierce was more old school and in his era he probably learned post-moves first as one of the tallest kids in the gym. JT has been an elite wing since he was 12, in the NBA at 19 so he has understandably added the post-game later. Post Shaq the league allows defenders to push the post out more.
 

Kliq

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After going 5-6 last night, Robert Williams has tied Rudy Gobert's NBA record of consecutive games shooting 50% or better from the field, at 64 games. He's shooting 76% from the field this season, and out of his 57 made field goals this year, 31 of them have been dunks.
 

amarshal2

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I don’t come around here much lately but I was expecting to see a discussion of Time Lord as a defensive player this year.

I for the first time looked up some stats to see if they confirmed what my eyes have been telling me. I’ll start with the stats so you can see if they surprise you before I share my hypothesis /thinking.

per 36 min rates by year in chronological order starting with his 2nd year:
blocks: 3.2, 3.3, 2.7, 1.9
Boards: 11.9, 13.1, 11.7, 12.6
Steals: 2.0, 1.6, 1.1, 0.8
PF: 4.7, 3.8, 2.7, 2.4
MPG: 13.4, 18.9, 29.6, 23.1

What my eyes were telling me: I’ve noticed TL going for way fewer blocks. He used to go for literally every block in a way that was unhelpful and could actually hurt them in rebounding. I’ve been wondering if this is an intentional change that was resulting in better rebounding.

Looking at the stats I think there’s some evidence for that story. His rebounding is up, his fouls are down, and his blocks are way down.

Looking at the stats and watching him play though he also seems less active. His steals are down in a borderline concerning way . He’s certainly not jumping as much or getting as high. If this is about staying healthy I’m supportive. I have seen him soar on occasion, so I don’t think he can’t be that .0001% freak athlete guy anymore…at least I hope not. The whole team has made basically no effort to be a great defensive team this year IMO. They’ve been fine.

But if this is the TL we get going forward I wonder if the balance is off. I appreciate the rebounding a lot. But when it counts think he needs to assert himself, particularly early in games. He’s nowhere near fouling out and they’re a great defensive rebounding team. It’s worth giving up an o-board and some fouls early if it deters teams from even entering the paint in the middle and later parts of the game when he’s in there. Or just mature as a player and be better all around at knowing when to try and block and when to hold position as we’ve been hoping.

I’m curious for others thoughts. He’s a good, integral player right now no doubt. But he has the chance to be a third star on this team and separate himself and increase their title odds/dominance going forward and right now he’s not that and his trajectory is perhaps different than ~10 months ago. Or not. what say you.
 

Euclis20

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I think there's still too much noise in a small sample (he's played less than 1/4 of his total minutes from last year) to draw any real conclusions, especially considering the combination of injury and rust. He also has more of a reputation now than he did for much of his pro career. I can't find it now, but there was a tweet recently showing big men stats when defending in the paint, and players are less likely to attack TL at the rim than just about any other player in the league. That would certainly decrease his block numbers, even as it pays dividends in other ways defensively.

The numbers have definitely moved (in both good and bad ways), but I can't draw any real conclusions at this point. I'll say they've looked like a borderline elite defense again since he came back, which is good enough for now.
 

benhogan

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Rob has definitely toned it down from previous seasons. Helping a little less from the weak side. Working his way back from surgery.

The whole team, other than White, has taken their defense down a notch. In no particular order: Smart, Tatum, Grant, Brogdon have only been locked in defensively in late/close.

Joe seems fine with it and is letting Tatum quit on transition D a few times a game. IME is rolling in his coaching grave.
 

PedroKsBambino

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I think there's still too much noise in a small sample (he's played less than 1/4 of his total minutes from last year) to draw any real conclusions, especially considering the combination of injury and rust. He also has more of a reputation now than he did for much of his pro career. I can't find it now, but there was a tweet recently showing big men stats when defending in the paint, and players are less likely to attack TL at the rim than just about any other player in the league. That would certainly decrease his block numbers, even as it pays dividends in other ways defensively.

The numbers have definitely moved (in both good and bad ways), but I can't draw any real conclusions at this point. I'll say they've looked like a borderline elite defense again since he came back, which is good enough for now.
I was at the Knicks game and there were back to back plays where someone got into the lane, sensed TL, paused, and didn’t attack the rim. I bet that goes on a ton now with him.
 

Euclis20

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I was at the Knicks game and there were back to back plays where someone got into the lane, sensed TL, paused, and didn’t attack the rim. I bet that goes on a ton now with him.
Yup, anecdotally it seems to happen a lot. Or we get a play like when Barrett drove, saw Timelord swooping in, and tried to lay it up high off the glass....ended up going off the shot clock.
 

chilidawg

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Rob has definitely toned it down from previous seasons. Helping a little less from the weak side. Working his way back from surgery.

The whole team, other than White, has taken their defense down a notch. In no particular order: Smart, Tatum, Grant, Brogdon have only been locked in defensively in late/close.

Joe seems fine with it and is letting Tatum quit on transition D a few times a game. IME is rolling in his coaching grave.
Joe has called a TO at least 3 times in the last 2 games immediately after a Tatum sulk. I don't think he's fine with it.
 

MyDaughterLovesTomGordon

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Yup, anecdotally it seems to happen a lot. Or we get a play like when Barrett drove, saw Timelord swooping in, and tried to lay it up high off the glass....ended up going off the shot clock.
I agree that at least some of the drop in blocks is that guys don't challenge him because his reputation precedes him. Teams change their offense entirely sometimes when he's in there.