Boston Celtics: Player report cards for Christmas

Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images
Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images /
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(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

Daniel Theis: B-

The German center Daniel Theis has been excellent in limited minutes and appearances this season. Another member of the perennially injured Celtics who have battled injury this season, Theis has shown an ability to stretch the floor, shooting 38.5 percent from deep.

The one flaw in Theis’ game this season has been a down year defensively. His defensive box plus-minus has dropped from 3.8 a season ago to just 0.8 this year. Theis has made up for his relative defensive woes by developing that deep stroke, but the Celtics will need to rely more on Horford and Baynes to defend the league’s best centers. If Baynes is asked to take a lot of first team reps in the wake of Horford and Baynes’ absence, he could see a sharp decline in production.

Semi Ojeleye: D+

Semi Ojeleye is perhaps the most difficult Celtic to grade this season. He is a casualty of Boston’s ridiculous wing depth, which goes a ways to explain his relatively low level of production. He is on pace to play just 826 minutes this season compared to 1,150 a season ago.

Despite the lack of minutes available for Ojeleye, his field goal percentage is up to 39.2 percent this season. Unfortunately, his shooting drops significantly when he goes beyond the 3-point line, down to just 27.9 percent. His production from deep will need to increase if he hopes to break into the Celtics’ second unit later this season.

There simply isn’t enough meaningful basketball played by reserves Brad Wanamaker, Guerschon Yabusele, or PJ Dozier to provide worthwhile grades for their performances. There is one player left to grade, though…

Robert Williams: A-

Robert Williams. The Timelord. The poster child of Weird Celtics Twitter for the 2018-19 season has been perhaps the biggest steal of last summer’s NBA Draft. The 6’10” center has displayed his absurd 7’6″ wingspan by swatting anyone and everyone who dares attack the rim on him.

Timelord is currently posting an absolutely unthinkable 6.4 blocks per 36 minutes. This would lead the league by nearly three whole blocks if Williams had achieved the minutes qualifier. His 1.6 blocks per game is good for 13th in the NBA despite only playing 8.8 minutes a night.

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In his limited exposure, Robert Williams has showed he has what it takes to play in the NBA. He’s a machine on the offensive glass that provides a wealth of second chance opportunities when he’s on the floor.  His defense still needs to take strides, as he’s been very beatable on-ball from the arc or mid-range, but he has the DNA needed to be a premier defender in the league if he can put his game together.