The Boston Celtics squeaked out a win over the San Antonio Spurs on Friday night, earning a 121-116 victory. After maintaining a solid lead for most of the contest, Boston stumbled late in the fourth quarter and allowed San Antonio to get back in the game.
Despite the near-collapse, Boston held on, and big man Robert Williams played a big part in that. The big man has yet to start in a game this season, but after the game, superstar Jayson Tatum said he wants that to change.
“Whether he starts or comes off the bench, [I] just want him on the floor,” Tatum said. “Want him healthy. And want to be on the floor with him at the same time as much as possible. So, you know, I’m gonna start, so I would like Rob to start, but, you know, whatever’s best for the team, he’ll do that. And, you know, as much as I can be on the court with him as possible, you know, I think [that] makes us better.”
Williams’ defense was immaculate against the Spurs. He played 21:45 in the contest, which is the second-most minutes he’s logged in a game all season. The 25-year-old put up 10 points, 11 rebounds, three assists, two steals, and four blocks and shot 5-of-6 from the field against San Antonio.
Last season, Williams enjoyed a ton of success. He had a breakout season, started all 61 games he appeared in, and earned a spot on the All-Defensive Second Team. The Celtics are being overly cautious with Williams due to his injury history, but it’s clear that Tatum wants to play with him more.
Jayson Tatum Calls Out Starting Lineup
Boston’s win over the Spurs was their second in a row, but those two victories came after a rough two-game stretch to open 2023. They lost to the Denver Nuggets and Oklahoma City Thunder, with the latter of the two games being an embarrassing 150-117 defeat.
The Thunder’s 150 points set a franchise record, and star guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander wasn’t even available. He was ruled out before the game. After the contest, Tatum called out Boston’s starting group, stating that they need to be better.
“I think it’s on that first group to, you know, we gotta get back to our identity,” Tatum said. “I think when we were playing at the highest level, we just played faster. Just like some point-five basketball, shoot it, pass it, or drive it. Because, when we play like that, we’re damn near unguardable.”
Jaylen Brown Says Celtics ‘Got [Their] A** Kicked’
“We got our a** kicked,” Brown proclaimed. “That’s what happened. When you come out, you take it for granted. That’s what happens. We probably had it coming to us, you know, came out last couple of games; we pick and chose when we wanna play. We wasn’t connected, didn’t have each others back out there, no help side defense, we didn’t guard our yard. And, those young boys over there came out, and they made us look bad. They embarrassed us. They kicked our a**.”