Friday, April 22, 2022

Report: Robert Williams intends to return in limited minutes for Game 3 vs. Nets

The Celtics could get a huge boost come Saturday, as Robert Williams intends to return for Game 3 and play limited minutes against the Nets, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

The 24-year-old big man, who had surgery to repair a partially torn meniscus in his left knee back on March 30, has been pain free following consecutive 5-on-5 work at practice, which could eventually lead to an increase in playing time come Game 4 on Monday night if he can go tomorrow.

Two weeks ago, Celtics head coach Ime Udoka told reporters that the team was "going in with the mindset" that Williams would miss at least the entire first-round and he doubled down on that last week, despite his starting center's recovery being reportedly ahead of the scheduled 4-6 week original timetable.

On Thursday Udoka gave an update on Williams and his progress, while telling the media he would travel with the team to Brooklyn and was on track with his rehab so far.
"He'll travel with us. It's different than the end of season when in the early stages of his rehab we wanted him to be here," Udoka said during Thursday's post-practice presser. "This is the time of year we want him around the team camaraderie-wise and his impact just being around the group, to be in the playoff atmosphere. So he'll travel with us.
"And regarding him, he's progressing well. He's had no setbacks and that benchmark of where we aimed of 4-6 weeks is looking good. We're happy with his progress."
The Celtics, who lead their best-of-7 series 2-0 over the Nets after a 114-107 Game 2 win Wednesday night -- which marked three weeks since Williams' knee surgery -- could potentially add to their already suffocating defense on Kevin Durant.

Per The Athletic's Shams Charania, Williams is day-to-day and a "final determination" will be made depending on how the Celtics center's knee responds during Saturday's shootaround.

Williams averaged 10.0 points, 9.6 rebounds and 2.2 blocks this season, while shooting 73% from the floor and being the only player in the league to hold opponents to under 40% from the field.

Game 3 between the Celtics and Nets tips-off Saturday night from the Barclays Center at 7:30 ET on ESPN.

Joel Pavón

Photo used courtesy of Getty Images

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