Aron Baynes has been officially ruled out for 4-6 weeks recovering from his hand fracture. That means we’ll be seeing a lot more Theis and Timelord. Baynes will be missed as he’s 5th on the team in defensive rating (97.3), is 3rd in net rating (10.4), and does all of the dirty work. He’s tied with Smart for the team lead with 7 charges, trails only Al in screen assists with 77, and his help defense is some of the best in the business.
While Al is still sidelined with his knee injury it’s going to be interesting to see who Brad goes with at the 5 position. Theoretically he can go with either Theis or Williams depending on the matchup and we all know Brad loves going small, so he can do whatever floats his boat.
We’re finally going to see Williams in big minutes and I’m excited for it. While his defensive rotations thus far make me want to throw up, there’s so much potential there. He currently leads the NBA in blocks per 36 minutes at a staggering 6.4. To put that into perspective, the next closest player is Hassan Whiteside who is averaging 3.9 per 36 mins. Per game he’s averaging 1.6 blocks and if he played enough minutes to be eligible that would put him in 14th in the NBA, just behind Al Horford (1.7). Every shot he takes is basically a dunk and I’ve seen nothing like him on the team in my years of watching Celtic basketball.
This will be an important time for him to get comfortable on defense as well as offense. Zeroing in on Williams while watching these games is quite the trip. He just kind of gets in the way, looks lost, runs like a deer, rotates terribly, blocks shots into the stands, and almost rips the rim off every time he dunks it. He’s so goddamn interesting and I spend hours at a time pondering if he’s the next Marcus Camby or just another freak athlete who can’t put it together. Whatever he ends up being, I’m pumped to watch his development and with Baynes out, it gives him that opportunity to get used to the NBA and possibly carve out a role with this team when they’re at full strength.
Before we move on from Bob, how ridiculous was this block last night? It’s like he was absolutely beside himself that someone would have the gaul to come into the paint with something that weak. How do you respond to that? Try and smash that ball right through the hardwood. Bob my dude, keep it up, I dig it.
For good measure, here are more angry Bob blocks:
As for Theis, he’s quietly been putting together a great season so far. If you check out his stats below year to year you can see the improvement first hand.
His jumpshot has really come along and it puts the defense in a pickle as they have to come out and contest it. This is also the drawback of using Williams as teams know he isn’t shooting the ball outside of the paint so they just sag off of him. That’s why Theis can provide a nice change of pace and gives Brad two guys whose skillsets are very different. Theis is an advanced stats darling as he sits in the top five in 8 different categories for the Celtics. He’s been producing and coming off of that plantar fasciitis early in the year, he’s had some great games. Against Chicago he posted 22/10/5 and 4 blocks and then a week later had 18/7/1 and a block against the Hawks.
While Theis is more established than Williams, he could still earn some more minutes while Baynes is out.
I can put nothing past Brad in terms of a starting 5, but these two will definitely factor in heavily while Baynes is out and even more so while Al is nursing his injury. They’ll get a test tomorrow night as Giannis and the Bucks come into the Garden to faceoff with the Green.
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