With 18.2 seconds left within the fourth quarter and the Boston Celtics down 106-105 to the Indiana Pacers, middle Robert Williams was tasked with guarding a Pacers inbound play out of a timeout.
Doing every thing he might to dam Justin Vacation’s cross, Williams couldn’t forestall Vacation from getting the ball in to T.J. Warren, however a double staff together with Jaylen Brown led to the massive man stripping Warren for his fourth steal of the night. The free ball was scooped up by Marcus Good, who dribbled down the courtroom and laid in a bucket to place the Celtics forward 107-106.
That play summed up the affect Williams had off the bench for Boston in a 108-107 defeat, as he completed with 12 factors on 6-of-7 taking pictures, 4 rebounds and two blocks. His 22 minutes performed tied Tristan Thompson for many amongst Celtics bigs, seven greater than beginning middle Daniel Theis.
After watching his staff get outscored 39-28 in a lackluster third quarter to go into the fourth down 5, Boston head coach Brad Stevens acknowledged Williams as a key element within the Celtics’ comeback efforts.
“I simply thought Rob was our greatest huge tonight,” Stevens mentioned. ”He performed with nice power, performed tremendous onerous, did every thing properly.”
“Clearly, we have been very low power within the third quarter and that price us the sport,” he added. “To our guys’ credit score, they hung in there and received again within the recreation. Rob was one of many explanation why, as a result of he introduced an excessive amount of power to the desk.”
Jayson Tatum, who got here up brief on a game-winning three-point try as time expired, singled out Williams’ difference-making capacity on the defensive aspect of the ball.
“Simply his exercise, particularly on the defensive finish,” Tatum mentioned. “He’s such an excellent passer, he’s so lengthy and energetic and getting blocks and contesting photographs. Rob has actually come a good distance, he has labored so onerous and he’s gonna be a giant a part of our success this season.”
Regardless of his statistical affect, Williams took accountability for the Pacers’ eventual game-winning basket, a Domantas Sabonis layup that resulted in an opportunity for a three-point play.
“I really feel like on the finish of the day we didn’t cease them after we have been presupposed to,” Williams mentioned. “We tousled the defensive protection, so actually all the opposite stuff goes out the window.
“I used to be introduced within the recreation to deliver the power in order that’s what I used to be attempting to do, however like I mentioned we tousled the protection, me personally. I tousled the protection.”
Though Williams put the defensive lapse on himself, Jaylen Brown refused to position the blame on a single particular person whereas commending his teammate.
“He’s extraordinarily essential and he does a extremely good job, he’s all the time in the proper spot,” Brown mentioned. “I feel that final play was robust, I don’t suppose that was all essentially his fault, we gotta talk higher and provides a greater effort.
“You study from it, and we gotta transfer ahead.”