Robert Williams might have returned to the Boston Celtics rotation on Friday, but his presence wasn’t enough to help his team overcome a plucky Orlando Magic roster that refused to accept defeat — on two separate occasions.
Now, the Celtics sit 1-4 in their last five games and are experiencing their worst shooting slump of the young season, but once Williams has reacclimated himself to the Celtics rotation and becomes comfortable with Joe Mazzulla’s offensive and defensive schemes, Boston will undoubtedly become a fearsome opponent once again.
“When you get someone that’s driving downhill and into the lane, It’s not just, ‘do I have to leave a shooter who might be a 40% shooter or, (someone who is) on a hot streak or not on a hot streak’ as we’ll talk about later. You know, now you have to make a decision. Am I gonna leave that guy open? And I have to also worry about a guy who’s 80, 90% on every single one of these lob dunks that he’s gonna get at the rim. So that’s a new weapon that I think is going to really open up for the Celtics, and I think you’re gonna start to see that once Rob gets really back into that flow,” Green With Envy host Will Weir said.
Unfortunately for the Celtics, Williams’ presence within the rotation isn’t going to stop their offense from stagnating at times, and he alone can’t generate consistent, high-quality looks from deep for Boston’s sharpshooters to feast on, as they did earlier this season. In fact, throughout the Celtics' last five games, it would appear that the roster as a whole has moved away from some of the principles that made them a potentially historic offensive unit.
“Single action attempts is what I kind of call them. You run a high pick and roll or a stagger screen, then somebody curls off, and then you hit the guy that’s curling, or you hit the guy that’s popped out, but that’s it, right? It’s one pass. One action. We’re gonna take an attempt; maybe we’ll throw an extra pass in there if we can see a passing lane. But one of the things the Celtics were doing earlier in the season was they’d run an action. They’d find the open man, then drive the ball with a weak side action occurring. So now the defense is compromised. Well, we’ve gotta defend everything going on here, and we’ve gotta send guys to the driver. All of a sudden, somebody’s open one extra pass after that, and it’s impossible to recover back out. And we’re not seeing that at the moment,” Adam Taylor said when making his guest appearance.
Luckily, it’s still early enough in the season that we don’t need to worry about a slight dip in form or production. However, Joe Mazzulla and the coaching staff will certainly need to address the Celtics' lack of grit when it comes to facing teams who take the fight to them — after all, that’s how the Chicago Bulls got the better of them, too.
Beyond basketball, we are officially in the holiday season, meaning now is the time to dust off your favorite Christmas movies, drink hot cocoa, and let the sporting results roll in. However, somebody needs to tell Will that Love Actually is certainly not a top-tier Christmas movie, or they need to get Adam to change his stance because right now, the only thing we know for sure is that one of them is wrong...but which one?