The Boston Celtics and Robert Williams III have witnessed a sea change in the way they play defense.
The Boston Celtics have been impressive in their last 10 games on the defensive end. Every game that they lost, they lost by single digits. One would have to go back all the way back to the 11th of December, a whole month to see a blowout loss. While the loss column has been ticking steadily, one thing is for certain, the defense does not give up.
They are currently rated 14th best in the league for defensive rating, one behind their arch-rivals the Los Angeles Lakers. Despite turning over the ball 13.5 times a game, these only account for 15.8 points a game. A stark contrast to the purple and gold, who’s turnover numbers are much higher.
Much of it can be attributed to the type of defense the C’s play. A cursory look at any highlight reel show that they play a much better interior defense game than before. Their numbers rival that of the Golden State Warriors, who only have lost 9 games and have the best defense in the league.
Rob Williams on our defensive pressure of late: “We’re really just telling each other we need to man up, stand your ground.”
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) January 11, 2022
Robert Williams III has been a part of the change the Celtics needed
Having Enes Kanter Freedom or Al Horford as the team’s center did not do much to the C’s. Williams seems to be a much better fit with the Boston defenders, Marcus Smart leading the way. Currently playing 29 minutes a game, he averages 9.8 points, 8.9 rebounds and 2.1 blocks a game.
Championships are won based on defense, and the Celtics have steadily been improving on it. Their offense is is still struggling at times, playing a lot of isolation ball and not getting in shots that can win them games. But the team is young, and can definitely get much better than they are. They are no championship winning team right now, but they are not slouches either.
Ime Udoka is building on the foundations Brad Stevens had given him – He’s idenitfied the pain points of the Celtics game plan, and is working on fixing it. Williams II has definitely shown huge improvements to his game – starting all 31 games he’s played so far. They have a young core, and look to be set for the future.
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