In last night’s 149-115 win over the Brooklyn Nets, both Robert Williams and Romeo Langford played some of the best basketball of their young careers. I think they gave Brad Stevens no choice but to give them consistent minutes off the bench moving forward.
Let’s start with Robert Williams. Williams was playing well off the bench before he got hurt in the middle of the season. Although he’s coming back from his injury, I don’t understand why he hasn’t gotten much playing time in Orlando before last night. Boston has needed a big man presence like Williams, but Stevens hasn’t thrown him into any of the games. Williams finally got some meaningful minutes last night and look what happened.
Robert Williams finished with a career-high 18 points (7/7 FG, 4/4 FT), 5 rebounds, and 3 blocks in 18 minutes of action. He did everything the Celtics could’ve asked of him. He was running the floor, blocking shots, catching lobs, and making high energy plays. Boston needs a player like Williams to come in and create a spark off the bench. He can play like he did last night on a nightly basis, he just needs to continue to develop and be given more opportunities. Brad Stevens better play Williams at least 15 minutes again next game.
Now let’s talk about my boy Romeo Langford. The fact that this kid hasn’t been consistently coming off the bench yet is baffling. Langford can go in and change the game without scoring or even having the ball in his hands. He plays some of the best defense on the team and makes all the right plays. He doesn’t force anything, makes smart passes, and seems to always be in the right place at the right time.
Fun fact: the Celtics are 5-0 when Romeo Langford plays 20+ minutes. He has a plus/minus of +67 in those games as well. He’s a difference-maker. He can be a player to come off the bench and bring that energy, as I mentioned earlier with Robert Williams. Together, they can provide instant defense off the bench and compliment the players around them so well.
Brad Stevens might have his hands tied with these two. After last night’s game, Stevens might have no choice but to give both Langford and Williams minutes moving forward. I don’t see why he wouldn’t. I know it was only the Nets, but they can do what they did last night against any team. Give them another crack against the Raptors on Friday and see what happens. There’s no harm in rewarding players with minutes when they deserve them.
Photo: Ashley Landis | Credit: AP