Marcus Smart names Boston’s own ‘freak of nature’
Smart excels on the perimeter, but he has also proven himself capable of switching onto bigger opponents when necessary. Smart’s defensive abilities allows head coach Brad Stevens to run a slew of different rotations, making the Defensive Player of the Year candidate one of the most indispensable players in the league.
However, Smart hailed one of his teammates as a defensive menace ahead of the NBA restart in Orlando. The Celtics added center Robert Williams to their roster prior to the resumption of play, and Smart said the youngster’s athleticism is unparalleled (via Marc D’Amico of NBA.com):
“No offense to the other guys on our team,” Marcus Smart said Sunday afternoon, “but Rob is a different type of freak of nature when it comes to athleticism and ability to go and change shots at the rim.”
Indeed, Robert Williams is a natural deterrent in and around the rim.
The former first-round draft pick averaged 1.3 blocks in under nine minutes per game during his rookie campaign, and he was also averaging 1.2 swats in 14 minutes per game this year.
But Williams has struggled to stay healthy in the early stages of his NBA career. The 22-year-old played just 32 games last season and was limited to just 23 games this year due to an assortment of injuries.
However, the addition of Williams to Boston’s frontcourt adds depth and paint protection to a squad whose identity has largely been built around the strength of its team defense.
The Celtics will hope Williams can stay healthy as Boston prepares to make its playoff run.