Robert Williams workout video raises key question for C’s big man

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Robert Williams workout video raises key question for C’s big man originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

We’ll give Robert Williams this: He appears to be working on the right things this offseason.

NBA trainer Aaron Miller got a rise out of Boston Celtics fans and reporters Tuesday night by posting a 30-second video of Williams working out — more specifically, working on his midrange jump shot.

It’s hard to make too much of Williams hitting open jump shots against token defense in an empty gym. But there’s a reason why this video generated some buzz, and it’s because Williams is working to fill the biggest hole in his game.

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While Williams averaged 8.0 points per game last season, virtually all of his points came in the paint on alley-oops, put-backs and jump hooks. When we say Time Lord’s midrange game was non-existent, we mean it: Of his 170 shot attempts last season, only nine were longer than 10 feet, and he only made three of those attempts. Williams was just 3 for 7 on catch-and-shoot attempts for the entire 2022-23 season and attempted two pull-up jumpers, missing both.

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Time Lord was still an essential piece of the Celtics’ offense thanks to his underrated floor vision and athleticism at the rim on both ends. But he’s Boston’s only rotation player who can’t shoot from distance or create his own offense, which allowed defenses to sag off him and help elsewhere when he caught the ball outside the paint.

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If Williams develops a respectable midrange shot, however, that could add a new dimension to Boston’s offense. The team already has two floor-stretching big men in Al Horford and Kristaps Porzingis and could space the floor even more if opponents have to cover Williams outside the paint.

Williams’ development in this area will be a process, and we shouldn’t expect him to start launching threes any time soon. But even a marginal improvement in the 25-year-old’s midrange game could make the Celtics’ offense even harder to stop.

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