Why Robert Williams’ Injury Shouldn’t Worry Celtics’ Fans Too Much


Drew Gray '23

The Celtics

Drew Gray '23, Contributing Writer

I get it. As a Celtics fan, hearing the news of Robert Williams III was not very reassuring, especially after a 13-4 run since the All-Star break. But, we have done it before, which gives me faith that we can do it once again.

In the past, Williams has been a very injury-prone member of the Boston Celtics. Granted, when healthy, he is extremely productive. This year, he hasn’t missed too much time, and over the tiresome NBA season he has been averaging nearly a double-double along with 2 blocks and about 1 steal per game. From a viewer’s perspective, his athleticism is unlike any other center in this league. His ability to catch alley-oops and leap into the air and send shots into the TD Garden crowd is undoubtedly unmatched. Williams’ defensive impact has always been a welcome sight to Celtics fans, but I feel that this season, his offensive achievement has stuck out to me the most. He has become a true asset to the Celtics pick-and-roll offense and has become an underratedly proficient passer from the top of the key.

With that being said, he was yet to play over 60 games in a season until this year. Williams brings so much to the court—the issue being—he is always struggling to stay on it.

This is why I don’t believe that the absence of the talented center is going to affect the newfound hopes for a deep Celtics playoff run too much. Although the team lacks a certain extent of depth at the position, the likes of Al Horford and Daniel Theis should suffice, especially considering the play of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown at this moment in time.

Particularly during last season, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown were struggling to play together. Neither knew who should be handling the basketball at important parts of the game and would try to play isolation ball way too much. However, now something has clicked. The two seem to be playing both through and for each other. I have noticed on multiple occasions while watching during this particular stretch when either of them is bringing the ball up the floor in transition that the other is posting up down the floor. The person with the ball is immediately looking up and trying to get the ball to them. 

This just truly shows how far these two stars have come. They have bought into moving the ball and so has the rest of the Celtics, which is why I believe that they have been playing so well as of late. Because of this, I have to give serious credit to head coach Ime Udoka. At the beginning of the season, I wasn’t so sure about him. Just as with Brad Stevens, I felt as though he would not have a great pulse of the team or grasp of the locker room. It appears Udoka has truly found something with this team. Unlike at any point during the Brad Stevens era, I think that Udoka has Boston playing together. Every player is bought in and ready when their name is called.

For these reasons, I feel that Williams’ absence can be handled. However, if Williams can return in the second round assuming the C’s take care of business in the first round, I can speak for myself and every Celtics fan out there in saying this: the Boston Celtics are NBA championship contenders.

Source: https://www.basketball-reference.com/players/w/williro04.html