After a long recovery process, Boston Celtics center Robert Williams III is finally looking like himself on the court. However, rather than starting every game he plays like last season, Williams has come off the bench during the 2022-23 campaign.
While that's not uncommon for a rehabbing player like Timelord, some have wondered if he has any desire to start as soon as possible. When asked by the media about his chances to start, Williams had the perfect response.
“If that happens, it happens. But we winners over here. We pride ourselves on putting team first,” said Williams, per The Athletic's Jared Weiss. “I like (seeing) where I need to add the energy coming off of the bench…I'm gonna rock with these guys regardless.”
The All-Defensive Second Teamer's unselfish answer is part of what has made the Celtics so successful this regular season. The team's chemistry is at an all-time high and they're winning more than any other team in the NBA, as they hold a league-best 26-10 record.
As for Williams, he's finding his way after missing the first 29 games of the season. Despite only playing 18.8 minutes per outing through his six games, he's averaging about eight points, seven rebounds, and one block. Plus, his presence on the court simply makes the C's stronger on both ends of the floor.
Robert Williams has played 113 minutes
The Cs have a 122.50 offensive rating in those minutes …
Having that lob threat and vertical spacer has been a new weapon
Small sample size, but I like separating the two bigs
— Brian Barrett (@itsbrianbarrett) December 30, 2022
His height and shot-blocking abilities make him a fearsome rim protector, something the Celtics truly need in order to compete with bigger squads like Cleveland, Philadelphia, and Milwaukee. To ensure that the 6-foot-9 center remains healthy, Boston will continue to monitor his minutes and likely keep him out of the starting five. Although that can be a pain for some teams, it seems like the C's have a pretty simple method to Robert Williams' load management:
"S*** they just look at me and ask me if I'm good" 😂
Rob Williams on Celtics managing his minutes pic.twitter.com/OyLyHgCG6h
— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) December 30, 2022
Starter or not, the four-year Celtic elevates the Green Team in ways few players can. If he can remain healthy and avoid the injury bug, Boston could reap the benefits later in the season.