Atlantic Notes: Williams, Knicks, Horford, Barrett

Second-year Celtics center Robert Williams picked up some skills from former teammates Al Horford and Aron Baynes during his rookie season, as he explained in a recent interview with Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe.

“Al isn’t the fastest person, but one thing that always amazed me about him was any time he got the ball, even if you knew what he was doing, it’s effective as hell,” Williams said, as relayed by Himmelsbach. “I kind of took to that. He taught me how to really put an emphasis on my moves.

“And watching Baynes showed me the importance of just going straight up on defense instead of swiping down. Honestly, I don’t even always have to block it. Making them alter it is a great solution too.”

Williams, 21, is expected to see more playing time entering next season with Horford leaving Boston in free agency and Baynes being traded to Phoenix. He appeared in 32 games with the team last year, averaging just 2.5 points, 2.5 rebounds and 8.8 minutes per contest.

The Celtics also signed eight-year veteran Enes Kanter in free agency, one of the league’s most skilled players on the low block and another player Williams could learn from.

Here are some other notes from the Atlantic Division today:

  • The Knicks’ brass has been noticeably quiet since missing out on several top free agents in early July, Marc Berman of the New York Post writes. New York was exceedingly confident that it could land two superstar talents on the open market this summer, but fell short to rival Brooklyn in pursuit of Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant.
  • Veteran center Al Horford broke the hearts of Celtics fans by choosing to sign a four-year, $109MM deal with the Sixers in free agency. “It feels right,” Horford said while wearing his new jersey in a video posted to the team’s social media this week. Horford will help make up a deadly 76ers frontcourt that includes the likes of Tobias Harris and Joel Embiid.
  • R.J. Barrett ended summer league exactly the way the Knicks hoped, Berman writes in a different article for The Post. Barrett tallied 21 points, eight rebounds and 10 assists during a 103-87 win over the Wizards on Saturday, showcasing his talents on both ends of the floor.
newest oldest

15 thoughts on “Atlantic Notes: Williams, Knicks, Horford, Barrett

  1. acarneglia

    I think Williams will either win the starting C job in camp, or wrestle it away from Kanter by the All Star Break

    • Norm Chouinard

      Kanter should thrive as the 2nd unit center. His low post game is very hard to defend and he is strong off the glass. What he can’t do is protect the rim or defend a competent player more than 8 feet out. These are less of an issue vs. the 2nd units of most teams.

  2. IslandFlava

    Can’t blame big Al for joining the top dog in the EC! Boston fans should understand this, more money on top of playing for a contender, which he has never had the chance before in his career. Also pairing with Embiid is gonna be great!

    • alonsoball

      He’s gone twice to the Conference Finals with Boston (in 3 years), how many times have the Sixers gone there in the last 10-15 years? Hmm, let me guess…Anyway, thanks for Tatum and Langford (and Carsen Edwards!), how’s Fultz doing?

    • dlevin11

      Big Al was just looking to setup his retirement fund over the next four years!

  3. Z-A

    Big Al is like a slower version of KG with his space creation skills. He gets the ball, gets that space and gets his shot. Bigger Melo, Less athletic Smaller KG.

    • Brackish Hippo

      I like Al and all, but he’s not on KG’s level. Not even close.

  4. hoosierhysteria

    6ers should trade Simmons for CP3. That move would disrupt Atlantic and they win the east.

Leave a Reply