Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and the Boston Celtics have control over the NBA Finals. They seem to have neutralized Golden State with their defense and style of play. A key factor in this is the presence of Robert Williams III. He is the best player on the Celtics capable of rim protection and versatile defense.
A matchup of opposite styles is obviously interesting to watch. Golden State entered this series as the clear cut better offensive team. However, they seem to have met a match in the Celtics that they may not be able to overcome.
“Don’t be afraid to be great.”
My story inside Robert Williams’s maturation from a draft prospect surrounded by concerns into a beloved Celtics center and burgeoning force: https://t.co/Vcj4vk0Hhy
— Jay King (@ByJayKing) June 8, 2022
Robert Williams III gives Boston Celtics an edge in the NBA Finals
It may seem ridiculous to say one player makes a team better in certainty. Especially, a player as relatively unheard of as Robert Williams. However, he possesses a skill set capable of stopping much of what Curry and the Golden State Warriors are known to do.
The Celtics forward is supposedly listed at 6’7 feet. (2.06m) and 24 years old. However, he plays in a way that would make 7-footers weary. We are quick to forget that the tasks of guarding Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kevin Durant, and Jimmy Butler would have fallen on his young shoulders during several stretches of this NBA postseason.
Williams has held the fort for the Celtics and prevented easy shots for the opposition. Additionally, he is also capable of being an excellent rebounder due to his very size and playstyle. Ime Udoka and the Boston Celtics should be thankful he took this next step in his game this season.
The young star had a slow entry into this league. He averaged only 2 points and 2 rebounds during his first year in the league. However, just two years later, this season, he is scoring 10 points and 9.6 rebounds for the Celtics.
His presence under the rim prevents players like Draymond Green and Andrew Wiggins from using their athleticism and controlling the game. Defense leads to additional rebounds, which in turn leads to additional offense. Therefore, Tatum and Brown are the beneficiaries of his play. It is good to have a player on a team who knows his role, accepts it, and cherishes it. That is exactly what Robert Williams III is.