Through the first few games of the season, Robert Williams has provided a much-needed spark off the bench for the Boston Celtics.
The 23-year-old's efforts clearly have impressed fellow C's center Tristan Thompson. The veteran big man praised Williams on Saturday and expressed his desire to be a mentor for him.
"I remember being that kid that's trying to figure out my niche and figure out how can I impact this league, and I think Rob has a lot of potential," Thompson said. "So for me, being that guy that used to be like that and having vets like [Kendrick Perkins] and Antawn Jameson help kind of mold my game as a pro, I want to pass it down because I think at the end of the day, that's part of being a pro. Take the gems I've learned from guys before me and give it to guys like Rob. His energy, especially coming off the bench can change a game so much. His athletic ability whether it's running the floor, blocking shots, rebounding, putbacks, all of those things especially coming off the bench can impact the game so much.
"I love the kid. I love how he works. I love his energy. So if I can help him become a better player, because he'll help me be better. So we'll help each other become better and in the long run, that's how in the playoffs I do my thing, he checks in for me and he does his thing, and it's a reckoning. Teams don't get no time off at the center position. You got me kicking their ass and you got Rob kicking their ass. That's what I'm just trying to do. Get him better each and every day, and he'll get me better."
Spoken like a true leader.
Williams is averaging 6.0 points, 5.6 rebounds 1.6 blocks and 1.0 steals through five games. With a proven veteran like Thompson helping him along the way, there's no reason to believe the Texas A&M product can't continue to be a consistent contributor for Boston's second unit.
The Celtics (3-3) will look to bounce back from Friday's disappointing loss to the Pistons with a win over Detroit on Sunday. Tip off for the matchup is set for 3 p.m. ET.