The Boston Celtics have found a ton of success this year, as they currently hold the best record in the NBA. But what’s most impressive about their season thus far is that they’ve ascended to the top of the league without the help of star center Robert Williams.
However, there have been a flurry of recent updates on the big man. And according to Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla, Williams is “pretty close” to returning to action.
“He went through another session today. He’s progressing really well,” Mazzulla said ahead of Boston’s win over the Brooklyn Nets. “Pretty close to returning, along with the timeline. It’s just a matter of getting him back conditioning-wise and making sure he’s comfortable and ready to go.”
The big man underwent arthroscopic knee surgery this offseason after missing the end of last year with a torn meniscus. And so far this year, he’s yet to appear in a game for the Celtics as he continues to recover.
Last year, he was an integral part of Boston’s run to the NBA Finals, helping anchor the league’s best defense and earning All-Defensive Second Team honors for his play.
Williams appeared in a career-high 61 games for the Celtics last year, playing 29.6 minutes per contest. He’s averaging 10.0 points, 9.6 rebounds, 2.0 assists, and 2.2 blocks per game on 73.6% shooting from the field.
Celtics Could Get Williams Back By Christmas
“Robert Williams, who had surgery on his left knee two months ago today,” Wojnarowski said. “His agent, Kevin Bradbury told me tonight that he expects Robert Williams will be back by Christmas. That gives him another month here, he’s progressing well on his rehab. And listen, this is a player who had two surgery’s in the last calendar year, they certainly want to take their time. Even without him, this is a team with the best record in the NBA, but they expect him to be back by Christmas.”
Boston’s defense hasn’t been as good as it was last year, but their offense is the best in the league right now. Adding Williams back to the mic should help their defense get back to the level it was at last season.
Celtics Star Getting Into a Rhythm
As the Celtics await Williams’ return to the court, their other stars are playing at a very high level. Jaylen Brown has put up 30 points in each of their past two games, and he said that he’s getting into a great rhythm.
“Just being aggressive, coming out, making them have to guard me,” Brown said. “I got it going and just kept it going. I can play with the best of them, so I just like reminding people of that…I’m feeling good, I’m feeling great, I’m feeling strong, I’m getting into a rhythm. I’m starting to focus in a little bit more on what’s in front of us, playing both sides of the ball. I’m starting to get a rhythm into the season.”
Brown is playing great, Jayson Tatum is an MVP contender, and once Williams returns to the court, their title odds should only get better.