Celtics

Robert Williams is making critical strides this offseason

(Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

There is no projected playoff team in either conference that has more question marks in its frontcourt than the Boston Celtics. The revamped (mostly) inexperienced group will be led by Enes Kanter, who should have the inside track on the starting spot given his pedigree and decision to sign in Boston for a discount price. Behind him, a pair of international big men loom in Daniel Theis and Vincent Poirier. Theis can help spread the floor when he's at his best, but both guys serve as forceful rim runners that will be in the hunt for minutes off the bench.

The biggest wildcard out of the group heading into camp may very well be second-year center Robert Williams however. The athletic big man has come a long way in just one NBA season, shedding any reputation issues that came with him out of Texas A&M after he missed his first summer league practice and conference call as a rookie with a hard-working rookie campaign according to team sources.

Now, after an encouraging performance during Celtics summer league, Williams is sticking out from the pack in the eyes of Brad Stevens.

"I think Rob Williams has put in as good of a summer as anybody," Stevens said Tuesday night at an ABCD Hoop Dreams event at the Auerbach Center. "Just seeing him up close has been fun. He's been here a lot and really has worked hard."

So what kind of changes has Stevens seen in Williams when it comes to year two? The coach told BostonSportsJournal.com that his comfort level is in a far different place now than last summer, which is notable on both ends of the floor.

"Robert can pass," Stevens told BSJ. "He's getting more used to what we are trying to do. You can tell he's a lot more comfortable, which is good. He feels great. His knees are great. He's doing great."

Stevens also spoke about his improved command on the defensive end on Tuesday night.