AP Photograph/Steven Senne
The Boston Celtics is perhaps getting a pleasant Christmas current in late December—the return of heart Robert Williams, who has but to play this season after present process surgical procedure on his left knee in September.
“His agent Kevin Bradbury advised me tonight he expects Robert Williams will probably be again by Christmas,” ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski mentioned Wednesday on NBA Countdown. “That offers him one other month right here. He is progressing effectively on his rehab. This can be a participant who had two surgical procedures within the final calendar 12 months. [The Celtics] actually need to take their time.”
Williams has battled by knee points this calendar 12 months. A torn meniscus in his left knee final March and a subsequent surgical procedure left him out for a month, whereas he had an arthroscopic process in September that was scheduled to sideline him 8-12 weeks forward of this season.
Defensively, Williams is a game-changer. The 25-year-old heart averaged 10 factors, 9.6 rebounds, 2.2 blocks and two assists per recreation for the Celtics final season, who gave up simply 103.4 factors per 100 possessions when he was on the courtroom final season, per NBA.com, in comparison with 106.6 factors per 100 possession whereas he sat.
His overall net rating of 10.0 was a wildly spectacular mark, trailing solely Jayson Tatum (12.1) among the many group’s common starters.
“Folks do not perceive how invaluable and essential Rob is to our group and our success,” Tatum told reporters over the weekend. “He does not rating quite a lot of factors, however simply his presence on each ends makes us that significantly better. It is form of damn-near spectacular what we’re doing with out Rob.”
The Celtics got here into Wednesday with an NBA-best file of 13-4, choosing up from final season’s run to the NBA Finals, the place they misplaced in six video games to the Golden State Warriors.
In order that they have not missed a beat with out him, however he’ll solely make them a more durable group to face.
“He’ll assist our spacing on the offensive finish, after which defensively we’re doing an awesome job of our particular person protection and our shift actions, and he’ll match proper in so far as our rim safety,” head coach Joe Mazzulla advised reporters. “So, each methods had been constructed for our full group, so after we get that it will be a seamless transition.”
And all indications are that Williams’ return will occur within the subsequent month.
“We’re proud of him so far as his development and the work he is put in towards coming again,” Mazzulla mentioned. “He is choosing it up on the courtroom just a little bit… He seems good. He is wholesome and responding effectively to it. He is in an excellent house so far as endurance, and he is doing the work he must do.”