The tone from the Boston Celtics after their loss to the New Orleans Pelicans was one of defeat.
But there was at least a glimmer of hope in the team's voices when talking about one player's performance: Robert Williams.
"I liked Rob's play today," Jaylen Brown said to reporters. "I thought Rob played well."
Indeed, the Celtics big man was a bright spot in an otherwise dismal second-half effort by the team. Williams was a force around the rim and, per usual, had many splash plays on the day.
It all started in the first quarter when Williams converted an alley-oop slam in transition from Jaylen Brown. The dunk electrified the C's and even stunned his teammate, Semi Ojeleye.
That wasn't the only time that Williams and Brown connected for an easy two. Brown hit the big man in the second half for another alley-oop as he continued to provide energy to the Celtics lineup.
But it wasn't just the offensive end of the floor where Williams made an impact. He made plenty of big-time hustle plays on defense, too. He was a strong rebounder during the contest but more notably, he managed four thunderous shot blocks.
The biggest one came on Zion Williamson in the overtime period and helped prevent the Pelicans from building an early 3-point lead.
Time Lord finished with 8 points, 13 rebounds, and the four blocks despite playing just 21 minutes off the bench.
However, his teammates think that his performance and understanding of how he needs to play are improving, so perhaps that could earn him more playing time moving forward.
"He’s understanding the game more and it’s showing with his productivity out there on the court," Jayson Tatum said of Williams, per Souichi Terada of MassLive.com. "He’s tough to guard because he gets out the roll quick, obviously can play really high above the rim. He has an amazing feel for the game. When he tips it out, or rebounds he can get in a roll and know where to pass it."
That "amazing feel" was certainly on display against the Pelicans. And it is worth noting that Williams was a part of the lineup that finished the game. So, Brad Stevens clearly trusts him. He may just be picking and choosing his spots with Williams as he continues to battle through a hip injury.
Regardless of his great performance against New Orleans, Williams is focused on one thing.
"It's all about the team," Williams said after the game. "We've got to stay together to win, no one can get down on themselves."
Williams has no reason to be down on himself after that game. He'll continue to focus on executing his role and providing the team a pick-me-up off the bench.
And that energy is something that could help the Celtics snap out of the season-long funk they've been in.