Robert Williams III is the key missing piece for Celtics right now

Celtics' Robert Williams to miss Sunday's game vs. Knicks

It’s no secret that the Boston Celtics have been struggling as of late, and a big part of that is due to their defense.

But what many might not understand is that it’s not only the defense, but it’s the rim protection. And the absence of Robert Williams is being truly missed.

While R. Williams is in and out the lineup due to nagging injuries, the C’s are left with undersized or older players. Al Horford is a great veteran but is playing with limited time to save himself for the playoffs. Grant Williams is a great option because he can switch out on the perimeter as well, but he’s no shot blocker.

What Time Lord possesses is his ability to alter shots around the rim. He can jump as high as any top defender in the league. He’s what made the Celtics defense so efficient last year on their run to the playoffs. With athletic and lengthy guys such as Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart and Malcolm Brogdon–the C’s back court defense is unmatched.

All that’s needed is the interior defense.

Sam Hauser and Mike Muscala aren’t true defenders. They’re big men that can shoot and hold their own in the paint. But when it comes to playoff time and the C’s find themselves playing the likes of Joel and Embiid or Giannis Antetokounmpo, they’ll be on the bench clapping for their teammates. And Blake Griffin has been nonexistent.

In conclusion, Boston’s offense isn’t the main concern (although they should be moving the ball more and shooting 3s less) it’s the interior defense. When the ball is being pushed, guards aren’t thinking twice when heading towards the paint. The C’s don’t even give hard fouls.

Boston needs Robert Williams back, and they need him back soon before they slip any lower in the seedings.

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