The Boston Celtics are heading into the 2021-22 season with a sense of optimism and promise that was seemingly lost mid-way through last year’s lackluster campaign.
With players like Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown expected to further their ascension into the star stratosphere and newcomers such as Dennis Schroder, Josh Richardson, and Al Horford being viewed as high-impact additions to the rotation, there’s a lot to like about this year’s shamrocks squad.
On top of this, there are several players that are viewed as being on the cusp of a true breakout season with the shamrocks, and we at HH believe there are even some who could wind up competing for the league’s Most Improved Player award come year’s end.
While we may have varying thoughts on who could be the top breakout candidate for Boston this coming season, the folks at Bleacher Report are seemingly convinced that one man, in specific, will reign supreme amongst the rest in this specific category.
That player: Robert Williams.
Viewed by NBC Sports Boston’s Chris Forsberg as one of four players “seemingly locked into starting spots”, B/R writer Greg Swartz is under the impression that, if this winds up being the case, the sky’s the limit for the C’s fourth-year center:
"The 23-year-old averaged 9.5 points, 8.3 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.8 blocks on 70.5 percent shooting in his 23.7 minutes as a starter in 13 games last year, showing promise as a defensive anchor and improved passer.Boston committed to Williams by giving him a four-year, $48 million extension, another sign he should win the starting job over Al Horford and receive a bump from his 18.9 minutes per game a season ago.Now entering Year 4, look for Williams to finally grab hold of the starting job in Boston and become a nightly double-double threat while contending to be one of the best shot-blocking bigs in the NBA."
Last season, Williams arguably had a breakout campaign with the Boston Celtics as he went on to post 15.5 points, 13.3 points, 3.5 assists, and 3.4 blocks per 75 possessions on an impressive 72 percent shooting from the floor while boasting a team-best box plus-minus of 6.1.
However, this was done predominantly while coming off the bench, as he started just 13 out of a total of 52 games.
Now, fresh off inking a new long-term deal, it’s more than likely that we’ll see his playtime and overall role increase moving forward which, in turn, should only stand to benefit his production on the court.
While we are more so under the impression that he’ll start the year off serving as a major contributor off the pine for this team, be it as a starter or in a sixth or seventh man role, should he stay healthy Robert Williams III is heading towards big things with the Boston Celtics in 2021-22.