Robert Williams III provided a much needed defensive presence for the Celtics in Game 3 of the NBA Finals against the Warriors. The 24-year-old center scored 8 points, grabbed 10 rebounds, blocked 4 shots and stole 3 balls.
According to Boston’s head coach Ime Udoka, the defensive challenge that Golden State presents is different from the ones his team faced in the earlier stages of the playoffs and Williams has to be able to adapt.
“He has to be adaptable and be able to play in anytime any type of situation,” Udoka said. “For us more than switching the lineups and things that we’ve had success with all year we’ll look at scheme and matchup coverage more so than that first of all.
“Obviously paid dividends tonight. He was a big time factor in the paint. We got to play our bigs quite a bit. Their guys can guard out there. Wiggins is different than a PJ Tucker and some of the guys we’ve had that kind of stand in the corner more. He’s obviously more active and can put it down a little bit better. So, that’s causing some trouble.
“But also, like I mentioned, not being a 100 percent and being able to slide and move on the perimeter as well. So, we understand that and, like I said, it’s the finals and we got to do what we got to do to win. This is a core group going forward and to have the confidence to be able to figure it out with him is going to be big going forward.”