Celtics Big Man Vows To Make ‘A Great Jump’ This Season

Getty Media Robert Williams of the Boston Celtics plans to step up in a big way

Boston Celtics center Robert Williams is heading into his third NBA season determined to cement a preeminent role for head coach Brad Stevens.

Stevens, who reflected on Williams’ time in Boston, commended Robert for his work ethic throughout 2019-20, specifically, his play in the postseason.

“He worked really hard, and last year he worked out great,” Stevens said per Masslive.com. “Then he played well in the playoffs, especially in the Toronto series. He’s backed that up with his first couple of days of practice.”

Robert Williams On Lessons He Learned From Al Horford & Aron Baynes: ‘I Watched Those Guys A Lot Without Them Knowing’

Williams, who addressed the media Tuesday, can’t wait to start the season. He’s healthy, ready to step up, and is locked in on what he needs to do to make an immediate impact.

“I feel like the first few days of practice for me have been good,” Williams said, per Masslive.com. “Feel like I’ve been great vocally, I feel like I’m stepping up in that aspect, all around, conditioning, locking in on my teammates, slowing the game down, learning different scenarios. Really, just most of all – keying in on what all teammates’ strengths are. So, I feel like I’m doing good.”

Robert also credited former veteran teammates Al Horford and Aron Baynes for setting the proper example – which helped instill habits that he says he applies to life on and off the basketball court.

“In all honesty, they just really taught me how to be a pro,” Williams said, per Masslive.com. “Like Baynes, he’s going to come in and get his work in; do his job. Al, he’s going to come in and show you what a pro’s supposed to do. So, I watched those guys a lot without them knowing. A lot, a lot, a lot – they didn’t even know.”

Robert Williams On 2020-21 Campaign: ‘I’ll Make A Great Jump This Year’

Now, there’s a new veteran presence in the Celtics locker room. His name is Tristan Thompson. He brings championship experience, a gritty attitude, and for Williams, untapped wisdom to soak from.

Williams says he’s ready to make a significant leap.

“I honestly feel like I’ll make a great jump this year,” Williams said. “Not only for myself but also for my team.”

Say less, Robert because Stevens is going to need the most from his third-year big man, while Thompson eases his way into the fold. Recovering from a strained hamstring, Stevens told reporters last week that Thompson is expected to miss a “significant portion” of training camp.

“He’s getting better,” Stevens said over the weekend. “He’s done very light individual work with some strength and conditioning work but is not participating in any of our stuff other than that right now.”

This should grant Williams more playing time out of the gate.

“When you’re playing that one position, there’s a little less time to go around,” Stevens said Tuesday. “Ultimately, it’s a credit to him; that’s he’s improved regardless of circumstance. He’ll build off that this year but we have good players there again. We’ll see how that all shakes itself out.”

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