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

benhogan

Granite Truther
SoSH Member
Nov 2, 2007
20,614
Santa Monica
I totally recognize that Rob is a Unique player and amazing athlete. I do wonder if he is as amazing as we think.
I am NOT saying that his production (when healthy) isnt impressive.
I guess what I am suggesting is could it be how he is Implemented here? The "Free Safety Role". Having Marcus and Jayson on a same defense.

IOW.....could different top 20% "big man Athlete" provide similar production with more durability? (and by top 20% I mean a "top 20% athlete" in the NBA.....which I think is a fair assesement of what TL was/occasion still is).

IOOW.....IF we had to replace Rob.....who in the NBA could do so athletically/physically? I do not buy that he is a "unicorn". But I do understand that a "Kornet" or a "Kabengele" is not a plug and play replacement.

So....assuming the worst....and Ignoring for a moment any acquisition cost.....If you had to Replace Rob....who is your candidates?
For Instance...... Jarette Allen or Evan Mobley Or Nic Claxton.

Once we create that list.....then we can pair down who is untouchable....who is expensive and who is "possible". All while fitting into both the time and salary window we have with the Js.

Finally we can hope that we dont need this exercise......but we probably will at some point soon.
I'll leave off the super expensive and go with athletic 5s (free safety type).

Daniel Gafford - playing too well
Claxton - blew up this year
Okongwu
Beef Stew
Jericho Sims - very raw, but comes with springs

Note: it took TL 2 full NBA seasons before he started adding value. BIGs blossom a little later.
Maybe scour the G-League & the draft/2nd rounders:
James Nnaji, DaRon Holmes, Adem Bona, Trayce Jackson-Davis
 

HomeRunBaker

bet squelcher
SoSH Member
Jan 15, 2004
30,732
No outside shot to speak of, but he'll compete on the boards.
Special K’s athleticism may help him cover if his rotations are one step behind but right now he’s either two steps behind or even worse, doesn’t even recognize what he’s behind….from what I’ve seen of him. He needs repetitions to hopefully figure this stuff out before he’s even playable.
 

lovegtm

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 30, 2013
12,750
Rob looks like he is seriously back. Completely different from the guy who was out there a month ago. Let's see whether it lasts....
 

slamminsammya

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2006
9,864
San Francisco
Rob looks like he is seriously back. Completely different from the guy who was out there a month ago. Let's see whether it lasts....
Yeah, last night made me believe he's just been consciously in self preservation mode.

I don't know why he gets no more lobs though, it's been so few i have to think it's decision by the team.
 

PedroKsBambino

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Apr 17, 2003
31,826
Yeah, last night made me believe he's just been consciously in self preservation mode.

I don't know why he gets no more lobs though, it's been so few i have to think it's decision by the team.
I agree---and it is a loss, but a worthwhile one if it contributes to his staying healthy. They might also be more willing to use the vertical threat in bigger games, we'll see.
 

TripleOT

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 4, 2007
7,901
Yeah, last night made me believe he's just been consciously in self preservation mode.

I don't know why he gets no more lobs though, it's been so few i have to think it's decision by the team.
Defenders are sinking in against the lob more often this season. Look at all the floater players like White get when Rob is out there. That, along with Rob playing with less reckless abandon, is probably the reason. And maybe Blake schooled him on the longevity of Lob City residents.

Vertical spacing will be more important in the playoffs when the floor is more constricted by defenses. Rob can put his cape back on for the playoffs.
 

Euclis20

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 3, 2004
8,448
Imaginationland
Yeah, last night made me believe he's just been consciously in self preservation mode.

I don't know why he gets no more lobs though, it's been so few i have to think it's decision by the team.
Not all dunks are lobs but he averaged one dunk per 11.4 minutes last year, down to one dunk every 14.2 minutes this year. At the same time, his points per minute have actually ticked up slightly.
 

TomTerrific

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
2,709
Wayland, MA
Rob looks like he is seriously back. Completely different from the guy who was out there a month ago. Let's see whether it lasts....
With certain athletic injury recoveries, I've found there to be a sudden moment where it just clicks that you are recovered and you can do the same things you did before. That moment always seems to occur a significant chunk of time after I can actually do the sport again without risk of re-injury or even pain. Perhaps that's what we're seeing.

I fully realize that the professional athlete experience is a universe away from the weekend warrior experience. This aspect, however, seems like it would hold at all levels.
 

amarshal2

Member
SoSH Member
Oct 25, 2005
4,913
Cautiously optimistic that RWIII was intentionally just operating at 80% during the regular season. That was unlike anything we’ve seen athletically since the second half of last year pre playoffs. I can’t imagine he had 3 lobs in a single game once this year before tonight.
 

TripleOT

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 4, 2007
7,901
12/8/2/1/1 for Rob in 22 minutes, going 6-6 right at the rim. He looked springy, and did some penthouse rebounding for the first time in a while.
 

Ed Hillel

Wants to be startin somethin
SoSH Member
Dec 12, 2007
44,936
Here
Cautiously optimistic that RWIII was intentionally just operating at 80% during the regular season. That was unlike anything we’ve seen athletically since the second half of last year pre playoffs. I can’t imagine he had 3 lobs in a single game once this year before tonight.
Honestly, Marcus looked like he kicked it back into gear himself. He had much higher energy than he did for most of the year. Load management for this team might be a pretty good strategy, even at the expense of seeding.
 

InstaFace

The Ultimate One
SoSH Member
Sep 27, 2016
22,530
Pittsburgh, PA
Cautiously optimistic that RWIII was intentionally just operating at 80% during the regular season. That was unlike anything we’ve seen athletically since the second half of last year pre playoffs. I can’t imagine he had 3 lobs in a single game once this year before tonight.
He had one game a week or two ago where he cranked it up and everyone in the game thread oohed and aahed, and I think he had a few lobs, maybe 3-4. So it's not coming entirely out of left field, but definitely very good to see return on-demand.
 

lovegtm

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 30, 2013
12,750
He had one game a week or two ago where he cranked it up and everyone in the game thread oohed and aahed, and I think he had a few lobs, maybe 3-4. So it's not coming entirely out of left field, but definitely very good to see return on-demand.
Yeah, he looked great over his last week of play; I wasn't at all surprised to see that out of him.

Also it was good that Joe load-managed him some in the 2nd half, even if the game got a bit dicey. Shows a nice commitment to the long game.
 

Reverend

for king and country
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jan 20, 2007
65,027
12/8/2/1/1 for Rob in 22 minutes, going 6-6 right at the rim. He looked springy, and did some penthouse rebounding for the first time in a while.
Also it was good that Joe load-managed him some in the 2nd half, even if the game got a bit dicey. Shows a nice commitment to the long game.
Yup-yup. His overall line understates his game: He had 10 points and maybe 5(?) rebounds and his block in just 12 minutes. I figure the next 10 minutes was just to get some cardio in.
 

TripleOT

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 4, 2007
7,901
Boston is 12-1 when Rob has scored in double figures this season, including 2-0 in the playoffs. They are 14-11 when he played and didn’t get to 10 points, including 0-1 in the playoffs.

Rob should get the ball down low more, especially when the threes aren’t being made. JB did a great job in game 4 in Atlanta laying the ball down to Rob right at the rim.
 

ManicCompression

Member
SoSH Member
May 14, 2015
1,430
Boston is 12-1 when Rob has scored in double figures this season, including 2-0 in the playoffs. They are 14-11 when he played and didn’t get to 10 points, including 0-1 in the playoffs.
At a glance, this to me describes how Boston plays when they're doing well on offense. Since Rob can't do anything to create his own shot, he's getting to double digits points from lobs and dump offs next to the hoop. If the wings and guards are in a mood to drive and dish (which is when the offense looks best), they're going to win.
 

Spelunker

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 17, 2005
12,217
At a glance, this to me describes how Boston plays when they're doing well on offense. Since Rob can't do anything to create his own shot, he's getting to double digits points from lobs and dump offs next to the hoop. If the wings and guards are in a mood to drive and dish (which is when the offense looks best), they're going to win.
Right: TL scoring in bunches is a a symptom of our offense functioning well, not a cause.
 

Jed Zeppelin

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 23, 2008
51,773
There are just so many positive downstream effects of TL being very involved. His mere presence alone means they aren't just going 5 out bombs away every possession, and if you get Tatum or Brown going downhill with the ball, TL waiting for a lob or drop-off generally leaves the driver with 4-5 really good options:
  • Get all the way to the rim
  • Layoff or lob to Rob
  • Find an open sniper in the corner after the D collapses
  • Quick pass out of an early double to the guard who is generally open above the break
The options are good without TL's involvement but there is so much great synergy between options 1 and 2 above that it becomes really really tough to stop. If they don't get stripped or blocked, there's a good chance the driver is getting to the line, getting the bucket, finding TL for a tap-in, or at worst giving TL a chance to grab an offensive board.

Still feels like he is underutilized to a degree but that's mostly because the team shoots the ball so well that they are often finding open looks from deep without having to work overly hard for it.
 

TripleOT

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 4, 2007
7,901
I heard a football term used with TL recently — catch radius. Rob has a Gronk like catch radius. If he had a higher motor on offense, he could do some real damage when setting up mid-paint or lower. Feed the Timelord.

Rob could used some Clifford Ray style coaching. He was excellent at teaching bigs like Leon Powe how to post up strong, turn, body up, and shoot softly over defenders. If Rob ever developed a half hook, and paired that with a McHale style up and under, look out.
 

ManicCompression

Member
SoSH Member
May 14, 2015
1,430
Rob could used some Clifford Ray style coaching. He was excellent at teaching bigs like Leon Powe how to post up strong, turn, body up, and shoot softly over defenders. If Rob ever developed a half hook, and paired that with a McHale style up and under, look out.
I don't think that would really be helpful to the Celtics. They're not often in a situation where feeding the ball to Rob for a post game - even if he was good in the post - is a better play than any of the guards or Jaylen or Tatum or Horford. Plus, that kind of stuff would take him out of the dunker's spot, which is where he's really effective as a guy who cleans stuff up and makes teams pay for overcommitting to drivers. It might make him a more skilled basketball player, but it's not useful to the team as constituted.

EDIT: Just adding that Rob in the post would also mess up spacing because then he's in the way of the rest of the team trying to drive to the hoop.
 

TripleOT

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 4, 2007
7,901
I don't think that would really be helpful to the Celtics. They're not often in a situation where feeding the ball to Rob for a post game - even if he was good in the post - is a better play than any of the guards or Jaylen or Tatum or Horford. Plus, that kind of stuff would take him out of the dunker's spot, which is where he's really effective as a guy who cleans stuff up and makes teams pay for overcommitting to drivers. It might make him a more skilled basketball player, but it's not useful to the team as constituted.

EDIT: Just adding that Rob in the post would also mess up spacing because then he's in the way of the rest of the team trying to drive to the hoop.
Rob is at 87% at the rim. Him ducking into the lane to deep post after the first or second option is stymied in a possession is what I’d like to see more of. I’m not suggesting they play a heavy dose of starting possessions by posting up Rob.
 

terrynever

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Aug 25, 2005
21,717
pawtucket
I heard a football term used with TL recently — catch radius. Rob has a Gronk like catch radius. If he had a higher motor on offense, he could do some real damage when setting up mid-paint or lower. Feed the Timelord.

Rob could used some Clifford Ray style coaching. He was excellent at teaching bigs like Leon Powe how to post up strong, turn, body up, and shoot softly over defenders. If Rob ever developed a half hook, and paired that with a McHale style up and under, look out.
His hands just swallow the ball. Never seen a big man with better hands.
 

TripleOT

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 4, 2007
7,901
His hands just swallow the ball. Never seen a big man with better hands.
Except for his first few minutes in game four with the Hawks. But he turned it around quickly, and became a rebound vacuum. I was very impressed in his determination.
 

slamminsammya

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2006
9,864
San Francisco
Rob is at 87% at the rim. Him ducking into the lane to deep post after the first or second option is stymied in a possession is what I’d like to see more of. I’m not suggesting they play a heavy dose of starting possessions by posting up Rob.
Post duck ins usually are more effective for guys with big behinds no?
 

reggiecleveland

sublime
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Mar 5, 2004
28,049
Saskatoon Canada
I am worried about him. He does not seem the same. He is not the presence he was in the past and his lapses on defence, especially losing shooters are concerning. He can't be 100%
 

ManicCompression

Member
SoSH Member
May 14, 2015
1,430
I am worried about him. He does not seem the same. He is not the presence he was in the past and his lapses on defence, especially losing shooters are concerning. He can't be 100%
Is he being coached to not defend the rim on Trae's drives to the hoop/floaters? It seems like every time Trae beats his man into the paint, RW backs away to prevent the lob to Capela/Okongwu/Collins and boxes out, which typically leads to an easy basket for Trae
 

the moops

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 19, 2016
4,885
Saint Paul, MN
Is he being coached to not defend the rim on Trae's drives to the hoop/floaters? It seems like every time Trae beats his man into the paint, RW backs away to prevent the lob to Capela/Okongwu/Collins and boxes out, which typically leads to an easy basket for Trae
Looks like Trae was only 4/13 in the paint last night. You can live with that every game
 

HomeRunBaker

bet squelcher
SoSH Member
Jan 15, 2004
30,732
Is he being coached to not defend the rim on Trae's drives to the hoop/floaters? It seems like every time Trae beats his man into the paint, RW backs away to prevent the lob to Capela/Okongwu/Collins and boxes out, which typically leads to an easy basket for Trae
That’s actually how a big is coached in that situation to prevent the easy lob/dunk. It takes a lot of discipline to not go after the block in that spot.
 

ManicCompression

Member
SoSH Member
May 14, 2015
1,430
That’s actually how a big is coached in that situation to prevent the easy lob/dunk. It takes a lot of discipline to not go after the block in that spot.
Yeah, I figured - I took a couple of screenshots of specific Trae drives and found three instances of it but didn't have time to post. Just looks weird in the moment. Not saying he should go for the block, I was just genuinely curious if that was the gameplan.
 

Ale Xander

Hamilton
SoSH Member
Oct 31, 2013
74,269
I hope he's back at the Garden (I think it's April) whether in uniform or in street clothes.
 

oumbi

Member
SoSH Member
Jun 15, 2006
4,207
God I hate to see this, but I do not think anyone here is surprised by it either. PBS did the smart thing in trading Timelord, though I hated that too.

TL has a contract fo $54,000,000 so financially he is set. His agent and family may talk with him about leaving basketball after this contract. Why risk another injury, one that may result in life long impairment.
 

TripleOT

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 4, 2007
7,901
Like Leon Powe before him, Rob chose to compete in the playoffs despite a knee issue. That choice might have also cost TL his career, but at least Rob got paid.
 

Cellar-Door

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2006
35,285
Like Leon Powe before him, Rob chose to compete in the playoffs despite a knee issue. That choice might have also cost TL his career, but at least Rob got paid.
THis is the other knee, if it costs Rob his career it is probably not related at all, except in the way that his body and style of play have not meshed since he came into the league leading to a lot of impact injuries.
 

PedroKsBambino

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Apr 17, 2003
31,826
Wise of Woj to say "fully recovered" rather than "fully healthy" for start of 2024-25 season, as I remain of the view that "fully healthy" Time Lord is a thing we'll never see again.

Bummer.
 

BigSoxFan

Member
SoSH Member
May 31, 2007
47,404
Wise of Woj to say "fully recovered" rather than "fully healthy" for start of 2024-25 season, as I remain of the view that "fully healthy" Time Lord is a thing we'll never see again.

Bummer.
Yup. Dude’s body is broken. I just hope we’re not into Greg Oden, Brandon Roy, Lonzo Ball territory.
 

koufax32

He'll cry if he wants to...
SoSH Member
Dec 8, 2006
9,142
Duval
Sucks for such a great player to watch when he was in top form, but man, did POBOBS get his timing absolutely perfect.
 

lovegtm

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 30, 2013
12,750
Crazy that the post-trade take was that they had hurt their center depth. Guessing the Celtics knew roughly how fragile he was going forward.