Like I’ve said all the time, a good amount of players are good once they find the right fit. Take a look at Shannon Brown. He couldn’t play in Charlotte but he was good enough to play for (the Lakers) on an NBA championship team (last year). That just shows you.
He’s benefited a great deal from where he is.People haven’t seen Shelden, and I think he shot to the forefront of the league with this team. Now people want to know about him. People are hearing about his journey, and it brings his value up. It brings our value up.
He was a 12th man, an afterthought, someone Doc Rivers could bury at the bottom of his depth chart and hide at the end of his bench. Essentially, Williams' main purpose was to lie in waiting until injuries arose and his services were needed.
As it turned out, that time came a lot sooner than the Celtics were expecting. With the thumb injury that shelved Glen Davis less than two weeks ago, Williams became a key part of the Celtics' rotation overnight, and he hasn't shied away from the challenge. Suffice it to say that Williams has already surpassed the Celtics' expectations for him. And it's still early November. Through six games, Williams' per-game averages off the Celtics bench are very solid: 7.5 points, 5.7 rebounds, 1.0 assists and 0.5 blocks. He's shooting 57.1 percent from the floor and 84.0 percent from the free-throw line. And he's only getting 17 minutes a night.
He played well in the season-opening win in Cleveland, scoring four points and grabbing three rebounds in 13 minutes. As his time on the floor has increased, so has his production. He had 12 points, nine rebounds, three assists, a steal and a block in 22 minutes against Charlotte, and then put up a double-double effort in 24 minutes against the Bulls — 10 points, 10 rebounds, two assists and two blocks.
In fact, Shelden Williams is a big part of why the Celtics are 4-0, part of a bench that has equaled — and at times surpassed — the starting unit in the early going. His defense has been big, even if he hasn't quite figured out the Celtics' help defense just yet.
"Pretty much where I've always been, you're responsible for your man, and that's something they don't stress here," he said. "Everybody has to jump back. That's something pretty much all my life I've been the last line of defense, and I've had to get the stops myself. I'm still at the point where I'm looking at my man, and I'm not looking to help. That's something I'm still working on."--TIM WEISBERG