I Believe in Time Lord...Why Can't You?

TripleOT

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 4, 2007
3,981
It’s been a layup line against the Celtics defense for much of this season, but TL often being out of position is the problem?
 

TripleOT

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 4, 2007
3,981
Those two things are related.
TL isn’t on the court for two thirds of the games. He defends the rim when he’s out there. Calling out TL for being out of position defensively when every game his more experienced teammates make mistake after mistake, or just get beat when in position, is weak.
 

Cellar-Door

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2006
20,242
TL isn’t on the court for two thirds of the games. He defends the rim when he’s out there. Calling out TL for being out of position defensively when every game his more experienced teammates make mistake after mistake, or just get beat when in position, is weak.
Meh, people call out other guys for bad D too, we've had many discussions about Jaylen's fall off, Kemba not keeping guys in front, TT's lack of explosiveness etc.

Also, he's not defending the rim when he's out there, we give up a higher FG% at the rim when he's on the court than when he is off. And individually, when he's the defender, his man is shooting 3.5% better at the rim than vs. Thompson, 6.5% better than Theis.

The reason people note his poor positioning is that he has the best tools of any of our post defenders, and SHOULD be a force at the rim, but he gets out of position and chases blocks too much, and accordingly he actually is our worst post defender. He gets steals and he's pretty good on switches, plus blocks, but he's not really defending the rim like a guy with his skillset and physical tools should.
 

TripleOT

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 4, 2007
3,981
TL was exceptional in the fourth quarter of the win over the Clippers
 
Last edited:

DannyDarwinism

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 7, 2007
4,658
I love seeing young guys figure it out. You can see his confidence growing by the game. Sky’s the limit.
 

Ale Xander

Lacks black ink
SoSH Member
Oct 31, 2013
36,399
He was great in the fourth. Has great chemistry with Brown and PP. F Theis and TT, RW needs to play the last 9 minutes of every game.
 

HomeRunBaker

bet squelcher
SoSH Member
Jan 15, 2004
20,110
He was great in the fourth. Has great chemistry with Brown and PP. F Theis and TT, RW needs to play the last 9 minutes of every game.
He was great nearly the entire game to earn those minutes and he responded. These are the types of leaps you want to see in young players.

To the above point about TL’s post defense he isn’t a very good low post defender due to his lack of size/bulk when a bigger player has the ball in position He is a GREAT weak side defender due to his ability to alter/block shots. These are two very different skills for a big and shouldn’t ever be lumped into one “defender” category.
 

CoffeeNerdness

Member
SoSH Member
Jun 6, 2012
5,259
Meh, people call out other guys for bad D too, we've had many discussions about Jaylen's fall off, Kemba not keeping guys in front, TT's lack of explosiveness etc.

Also, he's not defending the rim when he's out there, we give up a higher FG% at the rim when he's on the court than when he is off. And individually, when he's the defender, his man is shooting 3.5% better at the rim than vs. Thompson, 6.5% better than Theis.

The reason people note his poor positioning is that he has the best tools of any of our post defenders, and SHOULD be a force at the rim, but he gets out of position and chases blocks too much, and accordingly he actually is our worst post defender. He gets steals and he's pretty good on switches, plus blocks, but he's not really defending the rim like a guy with his skillset and physical tools should.
I don't know if there's a stat that could capture this, but to my eyes, he clearly wards people off the rim and changes how the other team wants to and can attack at the rim.
 

bankshot1

Member
SoSH Member
Feb 12, 2003
20,178
where I was last at
TL is not and was not the problem with the Celts D. The problem was Kemba wasn't playing near 100%, Smart has been hurt, Teague mostly invisible, and we had no guard play. And became relaint on a rookie (PP). Covid slowed and impacted JT, and Jaylen's aching knees slowed him, GW and Nesmith are MIA. and Romeo Romeo wherefore art thou. Theis has generally been solid.A lot of times TL was the last line of defense, on somebody's else's fuck-up,.

The entire roster was a mess, with CBS frantically juggling line-ups like a Fanueil Hall juggler on coke. TL has shown consistent improvement, both ends, and seems to have a better feel when to gamble and when to play it by the book. And tonight he had a game and a half.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 24, 2002
35,390
Defensive metrics are notoriously flawed but eye test analysis from tv screens is as well. I would not refer to Williams as a defensive stalwart yet but most stats show him to be a good defender for most of his time in the league.

Williams may be constantly out of position as some here believe but whatever he is doing is working because he is getting more run and in key parts of games. His development, if its sustainable, really could not come at a better time for this club. They can use his skill set and he also might be upping his trade value in the process.
 

Cellar-Door

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2006
20,242
I don't know if there's a stat that could capture this, but to my eyes, he clearly wards people off the rim and changes how the other team wants to and can attack at the rim.
It's possible, one of the hardest things to really track is deterrence. I don't know that I totally agree. I think he's a good space defender and help defender, but a lot of teams are able to use movement by guards to lure him out and get their bigs easy layups.

The Box numbers really like his D, on-off hates it, but I will say part of that is that he and Theis don't play together much, and Theis has very good on-off defense numbers. RAPTOR agrees with that, basically having Theis as a very good defensive player and TL as a small negative this year, with TL as a solid defender in small samples in previous years.

My general feeling is what it has always been on TL, he's a high variance defender not just game to game, but also play to play. His activity in space leads to steals and blocks that other players wouldn't get, but it also leads to easy layups on overcommits, ball watching, etc.

Overall I think he's a good player, but he needs to find the balance if he wants to get the call to close games consistently (especially if he struggles with his FTs). I will say, for all that he has been in the league a while, he still doesn't have that much game experience, so there is reason to hope that he learns the instincts and how much to challenge and turns into an elite, or at least very good defender.

That's part of learning to be closer to a full time player as well. When you're playing 8 MPG, you can get away with coming in wreaking havoc and coming out. When you want to be a 20+ MPG player, you have to be more consistent in your attention level and decision making.

I think TL will end up getting the 24-26MPG role by season end and maybe being the 5 in the closing lineups (though I wouldn't be surprised if it's Theis) he's shown a lot of progress on offense, and he's showing that he can play longer stints and more of them without breaking down. The defensive consistency will hopefully come.
 

SteveF

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 14, 2005
158
Williams looks improved on PnR coverage and doesn't look like a newborn calf when getting switched out on guys on the perimeter this year.

You don't need to necessarily play drop coverage on PnR with him out there. I think that's a critical element of a good big in the playoffs.

I haven't checked the rim protection stats (things like FG% at the rim, % of FG attempts at the rim, block percentage, etc.) lately, but I *think* they were basically average when I last did.
 

benhogan

Granite Truther
SoSH Member
Nov 2, 2007
11,013
Santa Monica
The next step for Brad is to pair Theis/TL in the starting lineup so we can keep TL fresh and maximize his minutes.
 

HomeRunBaker

bet squelcher
SoSH Member
Jan 15, 2004
20,110
He looks so much taller than 6-8, regardless of arm length. Does he just have an extremely short neck?
We need to pair him with Pau Gasol in the offseason to work on stretching out that neck. He’ll report back to camp at 7-1.
 

128

Member
SoSH Member
May 4, 2019
3,447
He looks so much taller than 6-8, regardless of arm length. Does he just have an extremely short neck?
Remember the preseason chatter that Tatum had grown to 6-10? When I see Williams and Tatum next to each other, Time Lord appears taller.
 

joe dokes

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 18, 2005
19,777
To the above point about TL’s post defense he isn’t a very good low post defender due to his lack of size/bulk when a bigger player has the ball in position He is a GREAT weak side defender due to his ability to alter/block shots. These are two very different skills for a big and shouldn’t ever be lumped into one “defender” category.
I think we all have a tendency to focus on what good players can't do. (Great players can do most everything). It could be that he'll always be great at several aspects of defense and we'll have to settle for him being adequate in others.

I don't know if there's a stat that could capture this, but to my eyes, he clearly wards people off the rim and changes how the other team wants to and can attack at the rim.
Just watching the games, I dont think there's any doubt that almost everyone under 6'7" driving to the rim is concerned that he's on the floor.
 

reggiecleveland

sublime
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Mar 5, 2004
23,499
Saskatoon Canada
Hopefully he can play more when they are ahead.

Seems to me Brad is picking spots and playing him as much as possible. His game is very active and he covers a lot of ground, but is harder to maintain. we saw last night he got a bit gassed and got caught in no man's land, got posted deep. After a rest he was back to being effective. Then he was gassed late and Theis went in for a minute, but then Williams went back in. I don't recall Brad putting him back in that late. The good thing is the end of games is full of stupid reviews so he can usually rest.

I wonder if there are certain offensive tactics where Brad is not crazy about using him? He has used TT as a passer, etc is some series. I have said a few times I am not a fan of playing the clock, counting possessions at the end of the game. A dynmaic defender and guy blasting an oop can help you put a game away rather than get you the lead and then stars run sets to score. Generally your best guy is your best guy in most situations.

Grant Hill said during the broadcast that Brad said TL was "finally healthy" saying last year he wasn't. It sounded like Brad was going to be cautious with TL and slowly up his minutes.
 

Seabass177

has an efficient neck
SoSH Member
Oct 30, 2004
5,063
Brooklyn
He's not just ending lobs with violence -- they're getting him the ball occasionally at the arc or elbows and letting him make decisions. His vision has greatly improved, and he's decisive when he has the ball. If there's a lane to the hoop he's going and godspeed, otherwise he's whipping a pass for an open look. Dude is a difference maker already, but if he can get his conditioning to the point where he can go for 30 a game then he's genuine threat other teams will have to start game planning for, which will open up the floor for everyone else.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 26, 2005
22,359
He's not just ending lobs with violence -- they're getting him the ball occasionally at the arc or elbows and letting him make decisions. His vision has greatly improved, and he's decisive when he has the ball. If there's a lane to the hoop he's going and godspeed, otherwise he's whipping a pass for an open look. Dude is a difference maker already, but if he can get his conditioning to the point where he can go for 30 a game then he's genuine threat other teams will have to start game planning for, which will open up the floor for everyone else.
I doubt we see TL at 30 mpg until the playoffs and maybe not even then.

The vertical spacing TL provides is really important though. Defenders have to account for him so they are closer to the hoop on PnRs, which gives ballhandlers more room to operate. I just hope he stays healthy this entire year (knock on wood) - would be great to see what numbers he could put up.
 

lovegtm

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 30, 2013
7,887
Kiev, Ukraine
I doubt we see TL at 30 mpg until the playoffs and maybe not even then.

The vertical spacing TL provides is really important though. Defenders have to account for him so they are closer to the hoop on PnRs, which gives ballhandlers more room to operate. I just hope he stays healthy this entire year (knock on wood) - would be great to see what numbers he could put up.
I'd like to see Kemba learn how to work with him more: that vertical spacing would probably give him the room he's been lacking for rim finishes. Similar thing with PP, who is generating a lot of space for potential layups just with the threat of that lob. (He probably could have just laid it up on both his highlight lobs yesterday when TL went over Zubac).
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 26, 2005
22,359
I'd like to see Kemba learn how to work with him more: that vertical spacing would probably give him the room he's been lacking for rim finishes. Similar thing with PP, who is generating a lot of space for potential layups just with the threat of that lob. (He probably could have just laid it up on both his highlight lobs yesterday when TL went over Zubac).
Agree. It also works the other way because with Kemba a threat to pull up, the Cs have to play a step closer on the drop coverage, leaving TL wide open at the rim.

I posted TL's highlights in the game thread but if you look at the lob that Kemba threw TL in the 4Q, the look on Zubac's face after the dunk is priceless. And if you compare it to the first lob that TL threw down from PP, you can tell how much effect KW has on the defender (in the PP pass, TL went over/through Zubac who was right at the rim. In KW's pass, Zubac was three feet away from the rim).
 

Jimbodandy

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Jan 31, 2006
4,809
around the way
I'd like to see Kemba learn how to work with him more: that vertical spacing would probably give him the room he's been lacking for rim finishes. Similar thing with PP, who is generating a lot of space for potential layups just with the threat of that lob. (He probably could have just laid it up on both his highlight lobs yesterday when TL went over Zubac).
Side note on those--both were fouls imo. Brad needs to hire an theater major as an assistant coach, so our guys learn how to sell calls better.

Every game, TL seems to tighten his grasp of team defense. I think that he is now within the middle of the bell curve. I've been hard on him, but the good clearly outweighs the bad at this point.
 

benhogan

Granite Truther
SoSH Member
Nov 2, 2007
11,013
Santa Monica
Just watching the games, I dont think there's any doubt that almost everyone under 6'7" driving to the rim is concerned that he's on the floor.
You can't help but notice that wings/ballhandlers veer away from the rim when TL is in the paint. Brad should copy some of Utah/Gobert defensive sets. Once CBS figures that out he could start using Tacko as a 3rd string/10mpg Center (next seasons business)

. Dude is a difference maker already, but if he can get his conditioning to the point where he can go for 30 a game then he's genuine threat other teams will have to start game planning for, which will open up the floor for everyone else.
His conditioning is fine (hip/injuries are different). But to get to 26-30mpg he'd need to start.

As a 3rd string/bench 5, 24mpg is probably his max, since he doesn't appear until 2mins left in Q1.
 

Fishy1

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 10, 2006
3,513
Timelord's strength is, as a help defender, he can scramble an entire offense just by sliding over. It's not just the shots he alters but the shots players don't take. Anyone looking to make a lay-up or a tough jumper in the lane has to work around him. If I had to choose, I would rather he be good at help defense and switching than he be a good post-defender. The few teams that still play through bigs in the post have found playoff basketball an impossible proposition. Let them throw an exhausted Embiid at a combination of Tristan, Theis, Smart, and Rob, after a season of astronomical usage, and he'll be in tears by game four. If he's still on the court by the end of the year, that is.

As for his so-called advanced metrics: most of Timelord's minutes have been with an Ojeleye-Teague-Pritchard-Tatum line-up, a line-up which consists of a Semi, a muscle-bound zealot with alligator arms who is a very talented shuffler, Teague, who appears to be unable to bend at the waist, Pritchard, who has been at best trying very hard, and Tatum, who is COVID-winded. His other two most-played units feature the same line-up, but switch Ojeleye for Grant, who hasn't been able to stay in front of a chair all year.

Which is all just to say that the eye test still rules in basketball. Rob Williams earned his minutes last night. He looked like a star. The list of pick and roll lob threats we've had in the last ten years is not inspiring.... Brandan Wright? Al Horford? It's just a pleasure to watch.

I should add: that line-up played really well last night, and has played well in the past. And it can be a high effort unit defensively. But they're working with certain limitations, especially on defending two and three-point shooting.
 
Last edited:

the moops

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 19, 2016
2,900
Saint Paul, MN
Most importantly to me is that he grabs rebounds that Theis or Thompson just wouldn't get. When he gets switched out onto the perimeter, he is still the biggest threat to come crashing back in and grabbing the rebound off a miss, even if he gives up a semi open look from the guy he got switched onto.
 

128

Member
SoSH Member
May 4, 2019
3,447
Most importantly to me is that he grabs rebounds that Theis or Thompson just wouldn't get. When he gets switched out onto the perimeter, he is still the biggest threat to come crashing back in and grabbing the rebound off a miss, even if he gives up a semi open look from the guy he got switched onto.
Seems like he's starting to realize the impact he can have as a rebounder as well as a shot-blocker. He's been grabbing some contested rebounds that, as you note, the C's other bigs wouldn't get.

He's also come down with the easy boards, but his willingness to get in there and scrap is a welcome sight.
 

Koufax

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
4,848
Isn't that a description of Theis? He and Kemba pulled off that play three times in a row in the closing minutes of the Wizards game.
 

benhogan

Granite Truther
SoSH Member
Nov 2, 2007
11,013
Santa Monica
https://theathletic.com/2423969/2021/03/03/those-guys-cant-just-be-bystanders-supporting-cast-answers-call-to-help-celtics-win-3rd-straight/?source=dailyemail
Athletic game recap:

“He’s on a great trajectory,” Stevens said. “He’s really helping us. One of the things about Rob that sometimes does not get talked about enough is that he’s a competitor. He wants to win, he plays hard, goes after rebounds, and he’s learning how to take advantage of what he does best at both ends of the floor.” (CBS building up TL will instill confidence, and not have him looking over his shoulder for the quick hook)

He would rank fourth in offensive rebound rate if he qualified for the league leaderboard. He would rank top five in both steal rate and block rate. His commitment to setting sharp screens and rolling hard to the rim has helped to open up the Celtics offense when he’s on the court. (stats are clearly backing up his play)

“Rob’s development since he’s gotten here has been pretty damn good, and he’s really carved out a great role, not just on this team but in this league,” Brown said. “And as he’s gotten more consistent minutes, we can see his play continue to emerge. We still like to challenge him game to game to be locked in defensively and everything, but in terms of where he started at to where he’s at now, the sky’s the limit. He’s going to continue to get better, and the more we put him on the floor, I think the better he’s going to get. So we’re looking forward to that.” (teammates must love playing with TL since he can bail out an awkward drive with a lob or help on a missed defensive assignment)
 

jmcc5400

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Sep 29, 2000
2,788
A minor point, but TL also wins his jump balls, which can make a difference when a call is reversed while he is on the floor. The silver lining of the George foul on Tatum being overturned is that TL best Ibaka (despite the toss being slanted toward Serge) and the Celtics got a fresh 24
 

128

Member
SoSH Member
May 4, 2019
3,447
Isn't that a description of Theis? He and Kemba pulled off that play three times in a row in the closing minutes of the Wizards game.
I think Theis fills that role capably, but it would be ideal to have a stretch-4 who was a deadeye shooter.
 

Jed Zeppelin

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 23, 2008
40,732
I'd like to see Kemba learn how to work with him more: that vertical spacing would probably give him the room he's been lacking for rim finishes. Similar thing with PP, who is generating a lot of space for potential layups just with the threat of that lob. (He probably could have just laid it up on both his highlight lobs yesterday when TL went over Zubac).
There was a play last night, I think in the first half, where Tatum practically waltzed to the rim without a challenge simply because the defender was hedging too far against a TL lob. His gravity can have a real impact on getting easy buckets, whether for himself or for his teammates, which is something the team has struggled with when the offense stagnates. His mobility, passing, and general aggression on O sort of naturally push the team away from stagnation. Things happen when he is on the floor, and more and more those things are more often good than they are bad.

When you look at the trajectory of his comps, year 3 is where it happens. The raw stats don't bear it out because he isn't getting huge minutes, but the pieces are coming together for him to hit the possibilities we have been hoping for.
 

BigSoxFan

Member
SoSH Member
May 31, 2007
38,344
There was a play last night, I think in the first half, where Tatum practically waltzed to the rim without a challenge simply because the defender was hedging too far against a TL lob. His gravity can have a real impact on getting easy buckets, whether for himself or for his teammates, which is something the team has struggled with when the offense stagnates. His mobility, passing, and general aggression on O sort of naturally push the team away from stagnation. Things happen when he is on the floor, and more and more those things are more often good than they are bad.

When you look at the trajectory of his comps, year 3 is where it happens. The raw stats don't bear it out because he isn't getting huge minutes, but the pieces are coming together for him to hit the possibilities we have been hoping for.
Win shares isn't perfect stat but found it interesting to look at the current bigs:

Theis: 2.3
Williams: 2.3
Thompson: 1.9
 

lovegtm

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 30, 2013
7,887
Kiev, Ukraine
I think Theis fills that role capably, but it would be ideal to have a stretch-4 who was a deadeye shooter.
Jayson Tatum?

Tatum at the 4 is 100% what the Celtics would be doing if they had more wing depth; he's easily big/strong enough to be a modern 4.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 26, 2005
22,359
but switch Ojeleye for Grant, who hasn't been able to stay in front of a chair all year.
Minor quibble - I think most people would agree that Javonte is the best defender off the bench right now. Saying he can't stay in front of a chair is, well, probably overemphasizing the fact that (i) he gets the toughest defensive assignment, (ii) he's also tasked with defending quick guards and wings, which maybe isn't his absolute strength, (iii) his athleticism is more explosive than quickness so try as hard as Brad may, JG isn't going to turn into Tony Allen, and (iv) the team defense behind him hasn't been great.

A lot one can criticize JG about but defense - particularly effort - isn't really one of them.
 

Cellar-Door

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2006
20,242
Minor quibble - I think most people would agree that Javonte is the best defender off the bench right now. Saying he can't stay in front of a chair is, well, probably overemphasizing the fact that (i) he gets the toughest defensive assignment, (ii) he's also tasked with defending quick guards and wings, which maybe isn't his absolute strength, (iii) his athleticism is more explosive than quickness so try as hard as Brad may, JG isn't going to turn into Tony Allen, and (iv) the team defense behind him hasn't been great.

A lot one can criticize JG about but defense - particularly effort - isn't really one of them.
He said Grant, short for Granite Williams.
 

128

Member
SoSH Member
May 4, 2019
3,447
Jayson Tatum?

Tatum at the 4 is 100% what the Celtics would be doing if they had more wing depth; he's easily big/strong enough to be a modern 4.
You're right. If Hayward, for example, were still on the roster, and everybody was healthy, the C's could have Kemba at the 1, Jaylen at the 2, Hayward at the 3, Tatum at the 4, and Time Lord at the 5, with Smart leading the reserves.
 

reggiecleveland

sublime
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Mar 5, 2004
23,499
Saskatoon Canada
mean a big who could sub in for TL that is real 3 point threat, Ibaka come to mind. It would be a nice wrinkle for Brad to have. Many subs we whine about in game threads are dictated by the other teams' personnel. If your coverage is set up to stop an alley oop guy, then a guy that you absolutely can't lave at the three comes in it forces the team to change, and may open up something different for Taum, Kemba, Brown.

Tatum will continue to play the way he does with, 4 being a wing pretty much anyway. A strtech 4 allows Tatum more mid post catches too.
 

Fishy1

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 10, 2006
3,513
Minor quibble - I think most people would agree that Javonte is the best defender off the bench right now. Saying he can't stay in front of a chair is, well, probably overemphasizing the fact that (i) he gets the toughest defensive assignment, (ii) he's also tasked with defending quick guards and wings, which maybe isn't his absolute strength, (iii) his athleticism is more explosive than quickness so try as hard as Brad may, JG isn't going to turn into Tony Allen, and (iv) the team defense behind him hasn't been great.

A lot one can criticize JG about but defense - particularly effort - isn't really one of them.
Yeah, I said Grant Williams, but I wouldn't disagree with any of this! Javonte has been pretty good one-on-one. If he would hit corner threes as well as Semi does, he'd have taken all his minutes.
 

DannyDarwinism

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 7, 2007
4,658
WBCD posted this in the game thread, but after the best overall game I've seen Rob play, it deserves to be here too:

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p0X8uOtS3Sc&feature=emb_logo&ab_channel=TomaszKordylewski



I've read a bunch about Rob being vocal on defense in practice, and you could see him directing traffic last night. The game is really starting to click for him, he's playing with confidence and energy. He's even looked markedly better defending switches on the perimeter (the only time I heard Brad yelling out to him- typically a fairly common occurrence- was for him to get his hand up on a guard he switched on to late in the 4th), which will really make him a well-rounded defensive wrecking ball.

It's easy to forget he only has about 1100 minutes under his belt (for comparison's sake, Grant is at 1400). Brad's record of developing talent is pretty damn good, and how he's handled Rob is no exception. Based on the TT signing, you have to think his development has exceeded the FO's expectations, right? Health probably had a lot to do with it, but its hard to imagine the spend the MLE on a big if they knew he'd be playing like this in March, though I suppose wing options were very limited at the time.

If he can consistently play like he did last night, a (healthy) Kemba, Smart, Jays and TL rotation has the potential to be very good on both ends of the court, with Theis, TT, PP and Semi rounding out the playoff rotation, and some matchup-based minutes unless Romeo can start to assert himself after the break. I like Theis and think he's underappreciated, but the Rob we saw last night can assert his will on the game in a way that Theis and TT can't.

Of course, if he continues to play this way, he's going to get expensive. My hope is that Rob, who by the accounts is a laid-back homebody, feels like he's in the right place here, but all it takes is one team to make an offer that might be very difficult to match.
 

DourDoerr

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Oct 15, 2004
2,366
Berkeley, CA
I'm glad to see that my eyes are seeing what everyone else is seeing. TL is the most exciting player to watch right now. He's absolutely affecting opposing players' paths to the basket. He had influence on a late baseline gimme drive by Lou Williams that Williams missed because LW was conscious of TL's presence. I had given up on C's winning any jumpballs and now TL has given me hope. I especially liked a play he had late where he was tight to the basket and deflected the ball to Brown (I think) just to the right of the basket. Brown missed the shot, but it was a nice combo of vision and execution. He also had a couple of key rebounds that extended the offensive possession. Really hard worker out there with chops (and hops!).

Finally, you can't put a price on the violence of those lob conversions. They unnerve the other team and just energize the C's. His ceiling has bumped up quite a bit for me.
 

MyDaughterLovesTomGordon

Member
SoSH Member
Jun 26, 2006
9,468
Most importantly to me is that he grabs rebounds that Theis or Thompson just wouldn't get. When he gets switched out onto the perimeter, he is still the biggest threat to come crashing back in and grabbing the rebound off a miss, even if he gives up a semi open look from the guy he got switched onto.
Last night, I’d swear Kemba took at least three shots that were relatively low percentage just because he saw TL well positioned and knew he’d get the miss. Which he did.