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Brad Stevens fear of major minutes for Rob Williams needs to end


Prior to the season, the Celtics Rob Williams projected that he would take a "great jump" in his third season with Boston. But it appears that coach Brad Stevens may be holding him back.

In last night's 110-106 loss to the San Antonio Spurs, Rob saw only 13 minutes of floor time. How did he do? He scored  six points on 3-of-3 from the field, while hauling down seven (7) rebounds, four of which were of the offensive glass. 

He added one assist, one steal and one block, while committing only one turnover and racking up a single foul. I took the time to project what that may have meant had he been on the floor for 36 minutes:

17 points - 19 boards - 3 assists - 3 steals, 3 blocks - 3 turnovers - 3 fouls

Yes, I know my 36-minute projection is pure fantasy! Or is it? Here are Williams III's  per-36-minutes numbers for the season:

13.7 PPG - 13.9 RPG - 1.5 APG -  1.9 SPG - 3.6 BPG - 2.7 TOs/game - 3.2 Fouls/game

Rob is playing a mere two (2) more minutes (15.5 MPG) than he saw last season (13.4 MPG). Understanding that bigs often take longer to develop in the NBA, it just seems that Williams should be seeing minutes at least in the 18-20 MPG range. 

Here's the deal. I have a lot of respect for center, Daniel Theis, but he needs help at the center spot. Theis earns every penny that he is paid via his team-friendly contract. Tristan Thompson still seems to be getting acclimated to his new team, and Tacko Fall just doesn't fit Brad Stevens schemes.

So what's stopping Williams III from staying on the floor longer? It almost certainly appears that Stevens has a fear that prolonged floor time for Rob might allow the opposing team to make a run. Well, he could be right, but it's time to see if this third-year, back up center has it in him to keep progressing and make that jump that he forecast prior to the season. What do our readers think?

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