The Spun- The Boston Celtics will look to extend the NBA Finals when hosting the Golden State Warriors in a possible elimination game Thursday night. Robert Williams has played through a knee injury and logged at least 30 minutes in each of the last two games. On The Pat McAfee Show, The Athletic's Shams Charania said Williams "is pretty much close to 100 percent healthy" and should be good to go for Game 6. "They're going to keep listing him as questionable, but he's feeling good," Charania said of Williams. "He's gonna play today. I would expect him to play big minutes."
As you can imagine, I'm fairly on edge at the moment. My palms could not be more sweaty. At this point in the day, I'm looking for anything and everything to keep my spirits and morale high. Just feed me any sort of good news you can so I can put my nerves at ease for like 10 seconds. Well, that's exactly what Shams did. Everyone heard him right?
"I'm told Robert Williams is pretty much close to 100 percent healthy. He's gonna play today. I would expect him to play big minutes"
If the Celts are going to have a chance tonight and the rest of this series, they need Rob. Not just for Rob to be out there, but to be the Rob we know and love. The one that's bouncy as hell. The one that strikes fear to anyone who dares enter the paint. In order for that to happen, he needs to be on the floor for big minutes. After playing 30 minutes in Game 5, I think we all were a little worried about what would happen tonight. At the same time, the season is on the line. You have to empty the tank in an effort to force a Game 7 and keep your season alive. Rob is a fucking warrior, so this doesn't really surprise me. Well, I shouldn't say that. I am surprised his knee is responding OK, but I'm not surprised he's probably made it clear to Ime that he's ready to do whatever. That guy leaves it all on the floor and will do whatever it takes for this team and that is why we love him.
Just how important is Rob? The numbers are pretty crystal clear. See for yourself
I mean, I'm not a math guy but I have eyes. Look at both ends of the floor. Look at the net rating. Look at the REB%. Look at the TS%. We've talked for a long time about what a difference maker Rob is when he's healthy and on the floor, and that has absolutely been true in these NBA Finals. So, one could assume that getting more of Rob over these final two games is a pretty big development.
One thing I hope to see with Rob not only tonight but also in a potential Game 7, is everyone on the roster remembering that the Lob To Rob is virtually unstoppable. In a series where shot quality and easy buckets are so important, I am begging this team to keep their eyes up and find Rob. Especially Tatum/Brown who are having some issues scoring in the paint. You know who rules at that? Rob. Nobody on GS can jump with him, so just throw it up. Don't force the contested floater/layup in the paint. Just lob it. Not only are those easy points, but they are momentum plays that could help swing a game.
So what do big minutes mean exactly? To me, 35-40. That feels insane given the fact that Rob barely played that much even before his knee injury, but as I said, you have to put everything on the table tonight. Rest in the offseason after you win the title. If over the course of the game Rob's knee acts up and he doesn't look right, you adjust. But I'm probably going to need 42+ from Tatum/Brown and at least 35 from Rob tonight. What other choice do they have ya know?
Between his willingness to play through pain and his 88.5% from he FT line, this postseason has pretty much been everything I've ever wanted to see from Rob. Now let's just add a dominant Game 6 to the list.