On December 15, Boston Celtics fans took to Twitter to share their elation at the reported return of Robert Williams from injury.
The Athletic’s Shams Charania was the one to break the initial report, taking to Twitter during the mid-afternoon to share that the NBA All-Defensive center was being lined up to return to the Celtics rotation on December 16 against the Orlando Magic.
Following the news, a large contingent of Celtics fans began to share their excitement at one of Boston’s key rotation members finally returning to the fold.
“Now this is great news if you are Celtics fan, mainly because Williams provides energy, rebounding, and defense both on the perimeter, and, importantly, in the painted area. Give the guy a ton of credit,” Twitter user @HubieTalksSports posted.
“The Celtics got even better. How does this make any sense,” @NetsDrip questioned.
Of course, not all Celtics fans were excited, as some would have preferred Williams to remain on the sidelines until the New Year, to give his body additional time to recover and allow him to continue working on his conditioning.
“LFG! I just hope he’s fully recovered. Don’t need him rushing back,” @Ace_Vario06 Tweeted.
Regardless of how you feel about Williams’ impending return, there’s no denying that his presence in the rotation will ensure the Celtics’ defense goes to another level, and for a team that’s already 8th in the NBA for defensive rating, that’s a scary proposition.
Celtics Urged to Add Big Man Insurance
Given Williams’ questionable injury history, it would make perfect sense if the Celtics decided to try and trade for a reliable backup as a potential insurance policy in case the defensive big has to miss additional time throughout the season.
According to Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley, one player the Celtics should enquire about is Mo Bamba from the Orlando Magic, as the seven-foot big man would fit the team’s system on both sides of the floor.
“A Poeltl pursuit could prove too rich for this front office, but his paint protection, rebounding and low-maintenance offense would be awesome for this club. Otherwise, this hinges on what the organization wants from a backup big. Bamba stands out for his floor-spacing and athleticism, while Biyombo offers limited range but loads of energy and activity around the basket,” Buckley wrote.
However, it must be noted that Bamba’s $10.3 million salary could prove to be a stumbling block for the Celtics’ front office and in putting a potential deal together.
Could Boston Replace Blake Griffin or Luke Kornet?
In a similar vein, Buckley also produced another article urging the Celtics to move on from Blake Griffin and/or Luke Kornet in the hopes of finding a center that better fits the team’s system and provides additional insurance behind Williams and Al Horford.
“Blake Griffin and Luke Kornet have done what they can to hold things together, while Grant Williams has authored his strongest season yet. It’s not enough, though. The Celtics should be on the search for backup bigs between now and the trade deadline. It just might take care of this club’s lone shortcoming,” Buckley said.
It should be noted that Boston has amassed a 22-7 record with the current rotation they have and that Williams’ return will only serve to improve the team’s overall chances of success. So, while it does make sense to search for an upgrade, there is no urgency for Boston, as they’ve already proven capable of going toe-to-toe with the best teams in the NBA.