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I Don't Want To Overreact But Robert Williams Might Be Morphing Into His Own Version Of Kevin Garnett

Winslow Townson. Getty Images.

If there's one thing you can bank on during the summer, it's your timeline being flooded with NBA summer workout videos. It's a tale as old as time really. Who could forget hoodie Melo and beanie Melo looking like the best player in the history of the sport in that random NYC gym as he auditioned for jobs. We all remember the Ben Simmons videos every summer of him taking and making threes. I'd say 99.9% of the time it's all bullshit. Melo never really did anything, Ben Simmons hasn't played in years, so any rational person will tell you to take those videos with a GIGANTIC grain of salt. 

At the same time, we're at the point of the year where there's a strong chance you're having basketball withdrawals as a fan. Especially if you're a fan of a contending team. Mid July is right around when you start to get antsy about the upcoming season, and for some reason, the workout videos hit like crack. 

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So while 99.9% of them never really translate, there's always that .1%. 

May I present to you, Robert Williams: Jump Shooter

Now there are two ways to look at that video. The first of course is the logical way by understanding that there is maybe a 0.00001% chance we ever see Rob take a pick and pop 3PA in a real game that isn't just some sort of end of shot clock prayer to avoid a turnover. This is a player that has 4 career 3PA since 2018, and he's missed all 4. So that part of the video is mostly just some A+ propaganda. I will say the baseline jumpers are much more believable in terms of shots I could envision Rob actually taking and making though. Granted Rob took just 7 midrange FGA last season, but as you can see that shit looks pretty damn fluid. I've always felt that this was never a talent or skill issue with Rob, but more of a confidence thing. It always felt like he simply didn't want to miss or maybe he wasn't confident in his abilities. If these workouts help him feel more confident and help bring a new dimension to his arsenal, that's a big deal. I'm not suggesting he's about to be KD from midrange, but literally ANY improvement and development in that department is going to help.

The second way you could choose to interpret that video is to watch it and then let your brain go crazy. Close your eyes and what do you see? Is it this?

Brian Babineau. Getty Images.

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Me too.

A guy who is already bringing you DPOY caliber defense suddenly nailing jumpers? That's Kevin Garnett-Lite. I can understand this sounds crazy…..because it is. But if we're going to get nuts, let's get fucking nuts. While I do not think this is where we're headed in 2023-24, it sure as shit feels like we're on a path to a world where Rob is taking and making 15 footers with confidence. A world where he has a float game in the paint. His touch is already so good, that just seems like the natural progression of his offensive development. Maybe throw a jump hook in there for fun. Remember Al Horford? That guy couldn't hit a three to save his life once upon a time. Brook Lopez? He took just 6 3PA in his first 325 career games and now look at what he's doing. He's made 788 3PM over his last 604 games.

As we know, in the NBA in 2023 it doesn't really matter what position you play, you have to be able to stretch the floor to some degree. At the very least, you have to make the defense at least think about it. Right now, whenever Rob is on the floor there is no need to even worry about him doing anything other than catching lobs or grabbing OREBs. I don't think it's nuts that any sort of development, no matter how small, as a shooter will only help the Celts create space. Whether Joe decides to pair Rob with Al or Porzingis in lineups, it's pretty clear that Brad most likely told Rob to work on his shooting so that they can have even more space on the floor despite playing two bigs. 

I also keep going back to what Brad said about Rob last week

It's true, Rob has always had some sort of health issue over the summer in recent seasons, and I don't think it's a coincidence that in the same summer he's 100% healthy and feeling good we're getting clips like this. I don't know how that couldn't excite you, even if you acknowledge we're not going to see Rob turn into Steph Curry overnight. That's not really what these clips are about for me. It's about one of the most important pieces to the Celtics puzzle not only looking and moving great, but working on his areas of weakness. 

A healthy Rob was already a problem. But a healthy Rob with literally any sort of offensive arsenal? Sign me the hell up.

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