Nine games into the season, the Boston Celtics have been without Robert Williams III as he is recovering from arthroscopic surgery on his knee. They have also rested Al Horford on back-end of their two back-to-backs thus far. When both of their starting frontcourt players have been out, they’ve relied on Grant Williams, Luke Kornet, Blake Griffin, and Noah Vonleh.
The team has managed despite not having Williams and having Horford rest on their back-t0-backs, as they are 6-3. However, an Eastern Conference executive told Heavy Sports’ Sean Deveney that even when the frontcourt is at full strength,
“The more the season goes on, as we get past Thanksgiving and into December, they’re going to start thinking more about how their rotation looks even when Williams gets back. If it is going to be Kornet and Griffin behind Williams, that is not good enough. They’re overloading their top players with too many minutes this early in the season and that needs to change.
“I still think they’ll come back for another look at Dwight Howard or Hassan Whiteside, someone like that.”
Howard and Whiteside have remained free agents since playing for the Los Angeles Lakers and Utah Jazz, respectively, last season.
Howard Explains Why Celtics Need Him
In an interview with Shannon Sharpe, Howard explained why he believe he would be a good fit on the Celtics.
“I feel like I could have been the Bill Russell in this era with that team,” Howard said. “I’m all about defense. I understand it on a different level… I felt like me going to the Celtics and helping them get back that championship pedigree. They was right there last year. I feel like me being a vet, helping out some of those young guys, those young bigs.”
Howard would go on to say that he would thrive in a reduced role with the Celtics.
“It ain’t like I’m trying to come in and play 35, 45 minutes, but I can give a team 20, 25 minutes and give you a good 12 to 15 points and 10 rebounds. Make sure the bench is hyped. Make sure everybody on the team is ready to go every day. I can do all that. That’s what I’ve been doing for 18 years.”
Robert Williams Provides Update
On Nov. 5, Williams gave an update on where he is regarding his recovery to Jay King of The Athletic.
Williams made it clear that he was “stepping it up” and that he can do “really anything” he made it clear that the Celtics are being cautious with his recovery.
“They just try to hold me [back from] being a little too explosive sometimes, take my time with it. But pick and rolls, running the court, really doing a lot,” Williams told King.
Williams appeared in 61 games for Boston where he averaged 29.6 minutes per contest while averaging 10.0 points, 9.6 rebounds, 2.0 assists, and 2.2 blocks per game. In the postseason, Williams played 17 games where he averaged 7.7 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.2 blocks in 23.2 minutes a game.
Williams was held out of multiple games throughout the Celtics playoff run because of injuries.