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Your Morning Dump… Where Terrence Williams has already opened green eyes

photo credit: Boston Herald

Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.

But the way the 25-year-old has played in two games thus far for the Celtics — averaging 5.5 points, 3 rebounds, and 3 assists in 18.5 minutes — he is making a strong case to stay a Celtic beyond March 1 when his contract is up.

Williams has shown that he’s more than capable playing the point guard position, even though he’s oversized for that spot at 6 feet 6 inches and 220 pounds. When asked where his playmaking skills come from, he said, “You’ve got to ask God. He gave it to me.”

In the Celtics’ 113-88 steamrolling of the Suns on Friday, Williams had four assists and made several uncannily well-placed passes that, for a moment, made it seemed as if Rajon Rondo were still on the court.

With 59 seconds left in the first quarter, Williams snagged a rebound, ran upcourt, drove to the right elbow and looked inside. When he looked there, the Suns defense quickly shrunk toward the middle, and then Williams kicked it to Jeff Green near the left wing.

And Green buried a wide-open 3-pointer.

On the next possession, Williams again grabbed the rebound, raced up the court, and noticed that Chris Wilcox had a few steps on his defender. After passing half court, Williams threaded a pass between defenders to a wide-open Wilcox, hitting him in stride for an easy, one-handed slam dunk.

That Williams could play the point guard position is something the Celtics learned last summer when he spent two weeks working out for them.

Boston Globe - Terrence Williams proving to be capable point guard for Celtics

Having played just two games with the Celtics, Williams has already done enough to impress Doc Rivers who now envisions using Williams in ways that weren’t under serious consideration until Friday night’s win.

Rivers didn’t think he could use Williams on the floor with Jason Terry and Jordan Crawford at the same time because Williams, who is bigger than Terry and Crawford, could not defend small forwards.

However, Williams’ defense against the Los Angeles Lakers and the Suns showed Rivers enough to where he knows Williams has the tools to be a solid defender against players other than guards.

“I didn’t know you could put Terrence at the 3 (small forward) defensively at times,” Rivers said. “Because he can do that, you can play those three together.”

And that provides yet another matchup problem for opponents which is something the C’s seem to be creating more of with their small-ball lineups.

CSNNE - Williams’ play pointing towards sticking with Celtics

For a player that has played roughly 38 minutes in just two games, Terrence Williams has already made quite an impression with fans and Celtics staff alike.  Doc Rivers is beginning to discover that his new player is like a Swiss Army knife of sorts.  While he’s not ecstatic about his defense (Doc rarely is with new players, and veterans at times), that can come.  TWill is clearly a multi-skilled player, one of those players that trained basketball eyes can tell right away how skilled he is.  But that’s never been his issue.

During his rookie year, he posted a triple-double in a win vs the Chicago Bulls, going for 27 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists.  While that’s not the be-all, end-all stat, and several players throughout NBA history have posted random triple-doubles, it does show that he has the skills to effect a game in several ways.  Just watching two games thus far has proven that.  With Williams, it’s been above the shoulders.  When he first arrived here he said that he learned from his China experience just how precious the NBA opportunity is.  He learned it so quickly that he wanted to get back here essentially upon setting foot in China.

Every once in a while there are these feel good stories of players maturing and carving a niche with a certain team.  Hopefully this one can be his story for his sake on for the C’s.  Danny Ainge gets blasted often here, but sometimes he doesn’t get enough credit for plugging holes especially in emergency situations.  Last year he quickly replaced Jeff Green with Mikeal Pietrus.  He also traded Big Baby for Brandon Bass when everyone was wondering how that issue would be resolved.  He found a D-League gem in Greg Stiemsma to plug the big man hole.  This season he filled the bench with Leandro Barbosa and when he was lost for the season has now replaced him with guys like TWill and Jordan Crawford.  Ainge apparently isn’t the only one within the organization that thinks highly of Williams already.  If you watch the video linked below, Greg Dickerson said that some members of the organization think he’s already the team’s best passer.  Quite the lofty praise for a 10-day player.  Let’s hope he stays longer and becomes another one of Ainge’s gems.

CSNNE VIDEO - Celtics in good position on road trip

The rest of the links:

ESPN Boston - Examining C’s big-man options | Globe - In nonprofit game, many athletes post losing records | Ex-Celtic Jermaine O’Neal at a career crossroads (Sunday Notes) | Herald - Turning Green on high C’s | Sizable role opens up for Wilcox | Sully still has bright future (Sunday Notes) |

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  • Howie

    2 years younger than Rondo. Pack your bags Rajon, we could get a nice young big for Rondo and could be a team to compete for years to come.

    • I’m straight

      You mean, keep a younger point guard that has passing skills like RR and can hit the jumper on a regular? Ok. Definitely will be an exciting off season to see what DA does. Especially if KG and PP retire.

    • Adam stark

      Yes TWill was impressive in the two games he has played and I really want Danny to keep him. But you have to remember it was against the suns who are one of the worst teams in the NBA. Rondo is the best passer in the league, I’d take him over Chris Paul any day. Yes he is my favourite player, why? Because he dose everything and in such a unique way he is increadable to watch. Let me ask you, in a game 7 against Miami who would you want on the floor Rajon Rondo or TWill?

      • Howie

        TWill, The offense flows too good without Rondo in there, he’s a ball hog that holds onto the ball until about 8 seconds left on the shot clock trying to set up 1 play. We all see how much better the C ‘s are when the ball moves around.

        • $tepD95

          I see the statement “holds the ball until [insert time]” and Im not saying its false, but its not the most accurate. Ive gone back and watched previous games where he quickly got rid of the ball (even in transition which some seem to say he Never does) or they’d throw it back. Plenty of our guys have been holding onto the ball as well, but that’s just my opinion.

  • RedsLoveChild

    Bibby is better than Twill

  • Larry Legend

    Im not going to go overboard on t-will cuz it’s such a small sample, but he looks so smooth. Guy is 6’6″ with a sweet handle. His passes are accurate, timely, and effortless. Apparently it’s a attitude/mental approach thing for this kid, but if he consistently plays anywhere close to how he’s played thus far, he’s a keeper. I’m not ready to ship rondo out because of his presence, that is irrational and silly, but I really hope we get a good long, hard look at this kid going forward. Color me intrigued…very intrigued

  • coachaj

    Small sample size indeed, with us. But both of these guys can really play, and some kudos go to Danny because he has been really good at plugging holes. Maybe these guys will stay for next season, and provide some young healthy depth.

  • http://redsarmy.com John – Red’s Army

    ha ha… you guys crack me up. If you want to overreact to something, How about TWill becoming the back up to Rondo that we’ve never had?

    I can’t believe how fast some people want to run that kid out of town.

    • Larry Legend

      I agree. To say trade rondo after 37 mins if watching t-will ball is ludicrous. But if he could become a solid backup pg that’d be great.

    • Celticsfanatic

      To be honest, I’d like to trade Rondo even if TWill doesn’t develop. I feel that whether it be this offseason or next (preferably next as I think that’s when Pierce and KG will retire), we could get quite a haul for a guy who: delays the offense, has been ornery with management, doesn’t have a jumpshot, and pisses off teammates (I truly believe P2 would go crazy if KG had left and he was left with Rondo). I’m as big a Rondo fan as the overwhelming facts/rumors allow me too. The guy is NOT the best nor the second nor maybe even the third best at his position, he’s supposedly pissed off too many teammates for at least one of the rumors not to be true, and I feel we could get a great piece in return for him. Fill-in PGs are everywhere, I think we should try to grab a young center for him (NOT Cousins or Gortat) and then the following offseason grab K Love as a FA.

      • Larry Legend

        Agreed. Trading rondo fine by me, as long as you get proper value in return. Celticsfanatic, I’d be careful tho, talking bad about rondo in this board is not tolerated by John….

        • Celticsfanatic

          Should be to not too in my last comment btw. But yeah I think Rondo should absolutely be dangled. I believe in the playoffs Rondo is a top 10 player, but in the regular season he’s maybe a top 20 player. I think CP3, Rose, and Parker are all better for him and let’s be honest: the best defender/passer/breakout player in the game is not a number 1 guy on a championship team. Deron Williams overall is worse than Rondo IMO but if I had the typical NBA team, I’d choose him over Rondo, because of scoring. How good is Rondo if he doesn’t have a great scorer or two to pass it to? A defensive anchor to cover up his gambles? You could make the argument that he could score more if he needed to; if he needed to, though, that would mean the surrounding cast would be offensively meek and therefore the defense would make him pay for having a poor jumpshot.

          I think in the right situation (Cs from 2007-2011), Rondo is close to unstoppable. I can’t, however, see him being the number one guy on a contender unless the number two and three are Bosh and Wade.

        • CoachBo

          Make that three for moving Rondo.

          His trade is where a serious rebuild starts, not the ill-conceived demands for trading Garnett and Pierce, both who don’t have the league value that Rondo does.

          Shop him for a decent big. The team – note the word team; not the ball-stopping assist factory that Rondo is – will be much the better for it.

          He’s never going to be the number one guy on a contender – scoring, won’t defend, won’t keep the ball moving.

    • CoachAJ

      There arent too many guys I would trade Rondo for that would actually fit on this team. That being said I think Danny has to think how will Rondo play when the 2 legends are gone. Will he play the same, or will he evolve into a different type of player? Uncertainty right there. But one thing is certain. A bench player will not develop a starters mentality just because they are starting. It must be cultivated. TWill hopefully can stick around and claim the backup role so desperately needed in Boston. Leaving Jet, Lee, Crawford to vie for the minutes behind Bradley. Bonus points for TWill in that being 6-6 he could back up Jeff when PP is done, too.

      • CoachAJ

        Naw I take it back there’s no one I would trade him for, guy is heart and soul a baller. Put it out there with a dislocated elbow, that is enough for me.

  • Think big

    There’s no question in my mind that Danny is going to ship RR out of town when he’s healthy. And he should, if he can get a legit big man for him and theres no doubt he can then he has to do it. Yes his fg% has gone up this year but IMO he still doesn’t have a jump shot and still not a very good free throw shooter.

  • Ben A.

    I rather keep Rondo and use T-Will as a backup. Rondo won’t be the same Rondo when he returns next season and Doc will implement the new system and include Rondo. The one-two punch of Rondo and T-Will will definitely create matchup nightmares. Rondo this season didn’t look like his usual self, something was wrong. I hope it gets fixed and we get the old Rondo back, keep them both.

    • CoachAJ

      I’m in agreement with this plan. We are deep and I don’t see that changing. RR is just too good to trade away. We got a quality big in Sully, and Melo just might come around to compliment him nicely next year. Plus we will have a good draft pick. Oden wildcard, I mean center doesn’t have to be one guy, it could be three like the Bulls of the 90s. But the chatter of trading away the new lil General is wrong.

    • http://www.djkahn.com DJ Kahn

      agreed. maybe it was all the demonstrative preseason “he’s our leader” stuff. Why put that much pressure on him in the first place?
      That said, you have to keep Rondo. He is a Celtic thru-&-thru. He’s our guy, and he’s a rare talent. Trust me, he will have a monster season next year. You think he’s not watching? It would be foolish to ship him out, no mater who you get short of CP3, and even then it’s a wash.

  • Jaedre

    Wow… Rondo haters are alive in this post! I like T-Will but def not a Rondo replacement. A backup to Rondo perfect. Rondo see’s what has been happening since he been gone. I think he will switch up his game a little to adjust to “what works” which is BALL MOVEMENT. I agree that he becomes predictable when he dribbles the whole clock but i honestly think he will change that up when he comes back.

    • CoachAJ

      Agreed 100%

  • celtfever123

    Rondo will adapt. Having faster more athletic guys will make him wanna run. I think he was trying to do too much by himself. Love t will as backup.

  • Alex

    Wow… Rajon Rondo is a triple double machine, a great player, but it seems Boston Celtics fans here show NO LOVE for the guy… Absolutely none…

  • Beantownfanatic2012

    Wow people are crazy! This kid has played a half hour of basketball and your already saying ship out Rondo?? Keep Rondo and TWill but just implement this type of TEAM basketball into Rondo and we could be a very scary BBall team. I love what Rondo can do, he can do a lot of shit that other PGs can’t do. His court vision in incredible, and when he floats around in the paint he’s good. We need Rondo!

  • eddysamson

    I like Twills a lot and I was kinda bummed about the JCraw deal because I thought it would mean the end of Twills after his contract. But hey, Twills played great alongside both JET and JCraw. I think theres room for everyone!

    On a side note JET is good friends with Twill so if there was ever a team for Twill to get back into the NBA seriously with, its us. What a great signing!

  • david

    We are not replacing Rondo, a proven playoffs star, with a headcase thats only played 2 and half games. Relax people.

  • NateB

    If Williams hangs on with the team for the rest of this season and contributes he’ll be a fairly unusual success story for
    10-day contract guys; I have always liked his game, so maybe he can help them for at least the rest of this season

  • p funk

    I say we make t-will our new captain and player/coach/gm…here’s to hoping his first move is to have rondo stoned and then quartered. Cmon people! Have you forgotten what RR has done for us?? He’s taken his lumps, but the overreactions are insane. Half of you would make david kahn look like red aurbach. It’s a TEAM game, and the early season struggles cannot be pinned on rondo alone. He’s a smart and talented kid. He’s watching the same games we are. No doubt in my mind that he will be proving most of you wrong next year. I hope DA keeps him around to do exactly that.

  • GreenbirdCro

    Reading this makes me wonder what on earth does RR have on Doc to be able to cause such serious shit like: killing the flow of our offense, messing with a locker room and being such a poor player overall?!
    Jesus! Put everything on a guy who throws his health away for playing for his Celtics! People, you discuss me, honestly…
    #9 has clearly invested a lot of effort to become a better shooter. The only thing to argue is his lack of effort on D or call it too much gamble on D.
    Cs fans… Oh, Lord… :-(

  • KGino

    Dude was playing in China last week… You guys should be ecstatic if he ever became a reliable back up point guard. There’s a reason he wasn’t in the nba already. Give him some time before all these knee jerk reactions! All you guys do is knee jerk it all day.

  • ShawnCVD

    I think we’re overlooking the most poignant fact here… Doc mentioned he can play TWill at Small Forward for short bursts… That opens up the opportunity to start Green in Bass’ spot and have TWill/Green back up the Captain. This team is embracing the small ball and will (should?) roll with it as no quality bigs will be had off waiver wires. So keep Williams!

  • $tepD95

    T Will please don’t take all this praise to your head from C’s fans because as soon as we lose a game they’ll want you shipped back to China. Knee jerk fan base. But good job so far hope you keep it up.

  • OV Wright

    Stop with the Rondo hate and go look up some clips of his performances in the playoffs. The man is a top 10 player in the playoffs, BOTTOMLINE. He hates the Heat just as much as any of us do. He doesnt like the officials, just like us. He has always put it on the line for the team when the time came. You people who want to bash him while he’s gone arent true fans. None of you guys were saying this at the end of last year, or in 2010..and thats when Rondo didnt have anything close to a jumpshot. He’s clearly improved in that area since. Rondo is in a tough spot in NBA circumstances. He’s a young, talented, confident player with unique ability..being handed the keys to a team by one of the best coaches in the NBA, while playing with two future HOFers who he has to keep happy.. while simultaneously trying to evolve and progress his own game without cheapening theirs as they become fading stars…In the back of his mind he also has to prepare for a completely different look and dynamic for the team in the next few years to come…while also coming back from ACL surgery…cut the guy some slack. I wish any one of you would be brave enough to tell KG that we should trade Rondo and report back what he says to you if it’s anything besides a death-stare

  • OV Wright

    That being said, I’m loving T-Will’s vision, poise, and willingness to pass. He can handle the ball, he’s strong and athletic, and I think he can knock down open shots. Swift on the court and seems to be giving the game what it needs and not forcing anything. Would love to sign him for the rest of the season and bring him back as a backup to RR next season.