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Category Archives: Robert Williams

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Your Morning Dump… Where the Celtics prove it’s better to win than to lose

Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big story line. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.

Aron Baynes: “We’ve still got a lot of room for improvement, but it’s better to learn when you win than it is to learn when you lose.”
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) November 24, 2018

The Celtics desperately needed to make a statement; not to the Hawks but to themselves. They have been a sputtering bunch for weeks and getting off to a strong beginning to one of the worst teams in the NBA, was exactly what they did in scoring 45 points which ranks among the highest scoring first quarters in Celtics history. That kind of early dominance set the tone for the rest of the game which was never really much in doubt afterward.
NBC Sports Boston: Balanced, steady Celtics attack keeps Hawks grounded
Sure, one might question how much meaning can be applied to a triumph over the now 3-16 Atlantans, who got just five points from prized rookie Trae Young. But, hey, the Celts had just had their lunch eaten by a Knicks outfit that arrived at the Garden with a 4-14 record.
In other words, they weren’t about to look an easy win in the mouth.
It was, for all intents and purposes, a first round knockout.
The Celtics had a 7-5 lead three minutes in. Then they bid the Hawks adieu.
With Kyrie Irving being aggressive from the get-go, the C’s pulled away quickly. It took fewer than nine minutes to lead by 20, and by the end of the opening period they had a 45-23 advantage.
It was easily their highest first quarter of the season (34 at Denver) and best period overall (40 twice — in the second quarter at Oklahoma City and the fourth on Wednesday against the Knicks when New York had 33 to keep their edge secure).
Herald: Celtics finally get back in black by routing Hawks
Boston was indeed in control all the way last night. In a reversal of Wednesday’s Knicks game, Boston led by as many as 29 and never trailed at any time. Their first quarter was amazing: 16 of 25 shooting, including a scorching 8 of 12 on threes. They had 12 assists in the period, too, and served notice that they weren’t going to underachieve again.
The Celtics finished the game making 42 of 91 shots for 46.2%, their fifth-best shooting performance of the season, and much better than their overall average of 43.5%. Stop me if you’ve heard this, but advanced analytics have consistently determined that it’s easier to win when your shots go down.
Not that they were sharp for the full 48. In the second quarter, they inexplicably hit just 4 of 18 from the field and allowed Atlanta to crawl within 16 at halftime. But that’s as close as the Hawks got all night.
So it was not a great win, but it was a comfortable win, which put the Cs back above .500 at 10-9. Coincidentally, that’s the same record as New Orleans, which lost last night to the Knicks, which might make you feel a tiny bit better about last Wednesday.
As a bonus to the one-sided contest, every Celtic got playing time and also scored. Best of all, the Timelord played nine minutes and had two dunks in two tries, which brought his perfect season totals to four shots, four baskets, four dunks, and one awesome tweet about all of that.

100% of Robert Williams' FGs this season have been dunks pic.twitter.com/81VKaHBSFV
— Taylor Snow (@taylorcsnow) November 24, 2018

With another game tonight at Dallas, the Cs will be tested again. The effort that they put forth in Atlanta will only matter if they continue it.
But the Celtics did not cure any of their biggest problems on Friday night. Their consistency woes can only truly be solved with sustained multi-game effort. They still have not given a full 48-minute performance but they can at least build off Friday’s showing when they visit Dallas on Saturday.
“Did what we were supposed to do,” Irving told reporters in Atlanta after finishing with 13 points. “Start of a business trip.”
But how can Boston build off this?
“Just not being complacent, not being satisfied,” added Irving.
NBC Sports Boston: Celtics start ‘business trip’ with much-needed win
Related –
MassLive: Boston Celtics roll Atlanta Hawks 114-96: Gordon Hayward improves, issues at the rim, plus 10 things we learned
NBC Sports Boston: Here’s what happened in the Celtics’ 114-96 win over the Hawks  |  Celtics erupt for historic 45-point first quarter against Hawks
NESN: Celtics Notes: Strong Start For Boston Helps Snap Three-Game Skid Vs. Hawks
On Page 2: Never mind
Two non-stories “broke” yesterday.
A source with intimate knowledge of the inner workings of the NBA told Get More Sports that Davis is considering five teams in the near and distant future: The Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers, New Orleans Pelicans, New York Knicks and Philadelphia 76ers.
The determining factor in the short term will be the level of success the Pelicans do or do not have during the first half of the upcoming 2018-19 season. If they are middle-of-the-pack or worse in the competitive Western Conference, it is more likely than not that Davis will be moved before the trading deadline.
_ BOSTON CELTICS (Even money):  Ainge has more talent on the roster right now than he knows what to do with, and there is a glut of young talent that could be moved. Because of salary cap rules, one big money player would have to be included, and that would likely necessitate putting Marcus Smart’s $11 million (this season) deal into a deal if Al Horford ($29M) and Gordon Hayward ($20M) were not included. Trade candidates would likely include Jaylen Brown and Terry Rozier, and Ainge is sitting on four first-round picks in the 2019 draft: Boston’s own, Sacramento’s (Top 1 protected), Memphis’ (protected 1-8 in ’19; 1-6 in ’20 and unprotected in ’21) and the Clippers (protected Top 14 in ’19 and ’20).
Get More Sports.com: Sheridan: Anthony Davis to Lakers a big possibility, but Celtics in the mix, too
This report is flawed because it fails to consider what Dangercart, Celtics Twitter’s resident salary cap expert, explained weeks ago:

No, it's against the rules to have Kyrie on his current contract and add Davis via trade because they both signed Rose Rule eligible extensions
— Ryan Bernardoni (@dangercart) October 31, 2018

And as Chris Forsberg explained on last night’s pregame show, the only way the Celts could deal for Davis before the summer is if they sent Kyrie to New Orleans (watch video).
That was one report, then there was this…

After marveling at Vince Carter's longevity this morning, Kyrie Irving was asked if he could envision himself playing that long.
"No, no," he said. "Once I’m done with this, hopefully in my early-to-mid 30s, I’m done with this."
— Tim Bontemps (@TimBontemps) November 23, 2018

Keep in mind, Kyrie entered the league at age 19, and this is his eighth season. If he plays until age 34, that would be another eight seasons. So let’s not worry about it yet.
Related – Herald: Kyrie Irving cuts short talk of long career  |  ESPN: Celtics guard Kyrie Irving hoping for early-to-mid-30s retirement
And, finally… Three views of sorcery

KYRIE DIFFERENT pic.twitter.com/lMfexbFJmO
— Blue Devil World (@BlueDevilWorld) November 23, 2018


who did it better @KyrieIrving or @michaeljackson pic.twitter.com/BfK9d9s3JQ
— Bd (@Billyd2411) November 23, 2018


this dude is not human pic.twitter.com/E3nKTlqq0l
— xanny ainge (@Mr_546) November 23, 2018

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Your Morning Dump… Where Weird Celtics Twitter and Timelord are a perfect match

Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big story line. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
“Always, always,” Williams said, smiling on Thursday. “Instead of calling me ‘Robert,’ they call me ‘Time Lord.’ But I don’t know where that (expletive) came from.”
Williams probably isn’t the only one, so here’s the origin story.
For many NBA fans, part of the fun is following along on Twitter, where the conversation twists and turns in amusing directions as the games unfold. Over the last year, a section of Celtics fans on Twitter formed a popular subgenre: Weird Celtics Twitter, which posts absurdist memes and jokes. Marcus Smart is “Smarf,” a warrior king. Semi Ojeleye’s muscular frame is “thick and jacked,” and lifting weights is going to the “Ojeleye Factory.”
At the center of Weird Celtics Twitter is Ryan Hebert, whose Twitter account @HebertofRiffs has gained a considerable amount of notoriety over the last few years. He was one of the people who came up with “Time Lord.”
“Basically, Timelord boiled down to the prediction of drafting him in 2017 and also defending him against uptight people who were earnestly acting like they’ve never been late to work in their lives,” Hebert said. “Weird Celtics Twitter is a bizarre place, but we genuinely love the characters and personalities and people on the team, and we are online so much that we have to do absurd things to show people how stupid it is to say a mega-athlete with a savant-like feel for timing, blocks and passing is a bust because they missed a flight. We all love Robert and are pulling for him as a pro and as a person and this is our bizarre way of going about it.”
MassLive: Boston Celtics’ Robert Williams has seen ‘Time Lord’ nickname, but ‘I don’t know where that (expletive) came from’
This is great. Weird Celtics Twitter is so entertaining that every day it becomes more a part of the Boston basketball culture. We know that @Max_Lederman of NBC Sports Boston already features WCT memes in a regular segment on postgame shows. This year there has also been news coverage of combat muscles, the Ojeleye Factory and the mysterious and mystical Janos.
Now this tale – the Timelord being virtually willed onto the Celtics by the Riffsman – really tops everything. The next time the Celts are on TNT or ESPN, the national talking heads should skip hyping how Kobe tutored Jayson, and instead run a feature on Weird Celtics Twitter.
The MassLive story above tells the whole Timelord saga, but if you want the Riffsman’s complete explanation in his own words, follow the link in this tweet.

The Riffsman made a guest appearance on my site today to discuss how Robert Williams became the T I M E L O R D https://t.co/DQx8i9lchi
— Nathan Eovaldi Fan Account (@DanielfromSport) October 26, 2018

(If you’re not on Twitter, use this link: THE TIMELORD PROPHECY)
Before we leave the Timelord, note that circumstances might get interesting for him tonight in Detroit:

Aron Baynes (R hamstring strain) and Daniel Theis (L foot sprain) are questionable for tomorrow’s game in Detroit. The C’s need at least one of those guys against DET’s frontcourt. If both are out, Robert Williams is in the mix for the first significant playing time of his career
— Marc D'Amico (@Marc_DAmico) October 26, 2018

On Page 2: Irving and Hayward are works in progress
It’s only been five games for Kyrie Irving and four for Gordon Hayward, but we’re starting to get a sense of how they feel coming back from their major injuries. The eye test tells us that Kyrie is a bit further along than Gordon, and these two articles published yesterday support that.
Both Kyrie Irving and Paul George broke for the ball at almost the same instant. Jayson Tatum’s pull-up jumper with little more than a minute to play Thursday night had shot hard off the back iron and sailed over the four Oklahoma City Thunder players in the painted area. Now, as the ball bounced free at the elbow, Irving and George found themselves in a footrace for the rebound.
Accelerating from in front of the Boston bench, Irving was able to lunge in front of George with his left hand and somehow gain control of the ball, all while George’s swipe attempt left him punching at air and then clapping his hands in exasperation.
It was the sort of hustle play these Celtics so often made last season. The gritty plays that set this team apart in their playoff run. And it was exactly the sort of effort that this team has been lacking early this season.
Irving finished with 15 points, five rebounds and five assists in 33 minutes. More telling, four of those five rebounds came over the final four minutes. And each was spectacular in their own way. On one, Irving outleaped Thunder 7-footer Stevens Adams to tip out a rebound to Horford. Later, he went over the top of Adams again then wrestled the ball away from Jerami Grant.
The common thread: Effort. Irving outworked his opponents to get those rebounds. And in a joy-filled-and-relieved Celtics locker room, Irving seemed to recognize how everyone on the roster needs to step outside their comfort zone a bit for this team to thrive.
NBC Sports Boston: Kyrie Irving’s hustle play a sign of what Celtics had been lacking
Yes, Kyrie has been showing signs that he’ll be back to normal sooner than later. After a horrible opening night, where he shot just 2-14, he’s been at 15 points or more in four straight games. In the last two (vs. Orlando and OKC), he made a combined 16-32. Kyrie is also averaging 5.6 assists, a hair above his career average.
In some advanced numbers, though, Kyrie’s picture isn’t pretty.
Irving still has a long ways to go to change his reputation as an often-disinterested defender. Through five games, the Celtics own a team-worst defensive rating of 105.3 when Irving is on the court, a jarring number when you consider Boston’s team rating is 96.6 — a mark that leads the scoring-boom NBA by 4.4 points per 100 possessions. Boston’s defensive rating plummets to an impossibly low 69.9 during the 75 minutes that Irving has been off the court.
Meanwhile, the news on Hayward isn’t especially good.
On Thursday night, with 5 minutes and 11 seconds left in Boston’s matchup against the Thunder, the Celtics trailed, 89-85, and the stage was set for a dramatic finish. But Hayward would only be able to watch it.
He was summoned back to the bench, replaced by Marcus Morris, and he would stay there for the rest of Boston’s comeback victory.
Hayward, who missed all but five minutes of last season after suffering a catastrophic left ankle injury in the opening game, knew he would have his playing time restricted for a few weeks as he regained his rhythm. And when he returns to the locker room after games and the soreness in that surgically repaired ankle returns, he understands why the reins have not been removed yet.
But it is still not easy on him. He wants to play. He understands why there is pain in the ankle, but he is also sick of it. He would like to feel perfect again and remind everyone why he was an All-Star two seasons ago.
Globe: With ankle soreness lingering, Gordon Hayward is still trying to find his way
Hayward is struggling, that’s plain to see. About the only stat where he’s been effective is three-point shooting, where he’s 6-14 (40%). Everything else is a problem: he’s not moving fluidly, he’s suffering from recurring soreness that caused him to unexpectedly sit out a second-night of a back-to-back, and he remains under a minutes restriction. Gordon is also a liability at both ends of the court.
He is averaging 10 points and 5.8 rebounds while making 39.5 percent of his shots. During his 98 minutes, the Celtics have been outscored by an average of 9.7 points per 100 possessions, the worst net rating on the team. During his 142 minutes on the bench, the Celtics have outscored opponents by 12.0 points per 100 possessions.
Hayward knows all this, and it has been difficult to deal with.
But it is still not easy on him. He wants to play. He understands why there is pain in the ankle, but he is also sick of it. He would like to feel perfect again and remind everyone why he was an All-Star two seasons ago.
We all feel for the guy, but we’re realizing that getting the normal Hayward may take a while.
“I’m definitely trying to do that, finding joy in being able to play basketball again and being able to be out on the court again,” Hayward said. “That’s something I’m trying to do every day.”
And, finally… In case you missed it
Cool moment after the OKC game for one kid who already has his Halloween costume.

Uncle Drew kid got Kyrie’s shoes. pic.twitter.com/qnxz9je3YX
— Chris Forsberg (@ChrisForsberg_) October 26, 2018

The Rest of the Links:
Yahoo: Unbeaten Pistons to measure themselves against Celtics
Herald: Celtics take cue from Red Sox

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