Celtics making most of luxury to take it slow with Robert Williams
The Boston Celtics will be patient with the development of rookie Robert Williams. They can afford to not rush him along as he is pretty far back in the rotation playing behind guys like Al Horford and Aron Baynes.
Celtics president Danny Ainge put it this way, per A. Sherrod Blakeley of NBC Sports Boston:
“We’re moving slow with Robert because we can,” said Danny Ainge, Boston’s president of basketball operations. “[When] we drafted Terry [Rozier] he had some tendinitis issues in his knees. Our medical staff has done an amazing job. He’s missed zero practices and zero games. We’re trying to do the same thing with Robert. He’s had some tendinitis issues. We want to really get those right. He played throughout his college career with much more pain than he has now. So, he’s making great strides already. But we like to make sure it’s long-lasting and develops the strength. That’s going to be a priority for us, his health. Once we get him really healthy, we’ll get him as much experience as we can either here or in Portland.”
In their first preseason game against the Charlotte Hornets, Williams came up with three points along with two rebounds and two steals in just under 10 minutes of court time. It’s clear that the Celtics are thinking about Williams’ long-term status, because they know he will be an integral part of their future.
As for Williams, he is very eager to earn his minutes and get better:
“We’re all here with a point to prove,” Williams III said. “Not only to them but to the world. You have a lot of haters; it’s motivation. I just have to grind hard for my teammates, if for anybody else. They’re counting on me just as well as I’m counting on them.”
Williams had five points and was a plus-13 in 10 minutes in a preseason rematch against Charlotte.