Celtics Notebook: Just call him the Dimelord

Robert Williams has made the greatest strides of his career in this young season, and nowhere has his growth been more evident than in how well he’s seeing the floor.
Marcus Smart, who hit a corner 3-pointer on Wednesday night against Memphis after being set up by a Williams touch-pass from under the basket, is no longer surprised.
“That’s Rob. We see Rob make the passes in games and in practice that you probably wouldn’t think Rob could do, or that Rob was probably expecting,” Smart said before Friday’s game in Detroit. “So we’re no longer surprised with Rob when he does things like that. We were surprised when he don’t, if that makes any sense. For us, we need Rob to play like that and be that type of person every game.
“I think we all see his growth when it comes to passing. Especially for a guy whose been out as long as he has with the injuries and trying to get back into that game type of shape and game mentality,” he said. “So we’re proud of Rob and he’s only going to continue to get better as a passer in that position.”
Passing, though, may actually be one of Williams’ favorite parts of the game. He also credits his new teammate, Tristan Thompson, with helping to change his approach.
“I feel like a lot of stuff is slowing down over the course of the game,” he said. “Passing is something that I love to do. Hopefully I’ll make more plays like that.
“I changed my mental approach. I feel like Tristan Thompson helped everyone change their mental approach,” said Williams. “He’s a warrior, he makes all his teammates better and you see the way that he’s striving and he makes you want to strive better so I commend him on that as far as me changing my mental approach.”
Playing Smart
Smart continues to deal with a contusion in his right shoulder, and does not plan to miss game time because of it. Now, if only he could figure out how he suffered the actual injury.
“They say it’s a contusion. Still don’t know how the contusion happened,” he said. “Don’t know if I was hit. They said it possibly could have been something like a freak accident, got hit and it got triggered and aggravated within the games and stuff like that. So we didn’t really know exactly what’s going on. The X-rays came back fine. I actually went and got an MRI before the flight (Thursday). I haven’t heard any news on that, so I guess maybe no news about that is good news. So just really trying to figure out what’s really going on. Like I said, it’s nothing major that’s going to keep me from playing.
“I got the Kinesio tape on the shoulder to kind of relieve some of the pressure I was feeling,” said Smart. “And then the shirt to really just help my posture, really keep the shoulder straight and also help relieve the pressure instead of just letting the shoulder hang and feeling that pressure on it. Both of those things both help and I think I’ll most likely be playing with both of those for a while until the shoulder gets a little bit more stronger, healthier, or probably just to make sure to keep the maintenance on it and make sure that it doesn’t happen again.”
A different kind of New Year’s
The Celtics celebrated New Year’s Eve with dinner at the team hotel, followed by a version of Yankee Swap known as White Elephant. Players are allowed to claim the gift of someone who has gone before them in the gift order, along with a series of wild card options tacked on at the end of the round.
A player, in theory, could lose his gift twice. Smart, who initially received a bottle of 12-year-old rye whisky, had to hand it over. He ended up with something very different.
“I got Bulleit 12-year-old aged whiskey but then it was stolen from me so I ended up with a karaoke set,” he said with a laugh.
All part of the fun, said Brad Stevens.
“I actually had a gift certificate, I just gave it away,” said the Celtics coach. “I saw the despair on a couple of staff’s faces after they got their gifts stolen, so I didn’t end up with anything.
“But I feel it was a fun time, it was cool, Allison (Feaster) did a great job setting everything up,” he said. “It was a good way to spend time together. Now it’s a little bit unique because we’re sitting in a row, three at a table, these monstrous rooms, so you have like to scream across the room with all the COVID restrictions, but is a opportunity to gather that a lot of people aren’t getting, and we don’t take that for granted, even though we’re wearing masks and testing every day, this is something that not everybody’s getting a chance to do.
“The good news for me is I was in my room and asleep long before the ball dropped.”

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