Celtics’ Big Man Delivers Worrisome Injury Update Ahead of Game 6

Robert Williams Boston Celtics

Getty Robert Williams of the Boston Celtics.

Robert Williams has been the Boston Celtics’ X factor throughout their entire postseason run.

After suffering a meniscus tear on March 27, the athletic rim runner has been a game-time decision ever since returning to the rotation midway through the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. And now he’s been listed as questionable for Game 6 on June 16.

At times, it’s seemed as though Williams’ injury has been limiting his ability to make a genuine impact on defense, but throughout Boston’s NBA Finals series against the Golden State Warriors, he’s been one of the most important members of Boston’s rotation, earning a plus/minus of +21 and +11 in Games 3 and 5, respectively.

However, behind the scenes, it appears Williams has been in a lot of pain, and his desire to participate in the Celtics’ Finals run has led to significant measures taken to keep his knee pain from becoming unbearable.

In a June 15 story by Yahoo Sport’s Chris Haynes, Williams detailed the treatments he’s been undergoing since recovering from his knee surgery.

“Icing, deep tissue massages, treatment, wait three or four hours and then start the process all over again until it’s time to sleep. … Maybe a little BFR [blood flow restriction training] here and there, but usually that same ritual. … I was really having my knee drained a lot last series,” Williams told Haynes. “I stopped draining it because there was no point, in my opinion. My knee kept filling back up with fluid. So, I’ve kind of learned how to manage it to be able to play.”

Williams Taking Things a Day at a Time

Boston might be one loss away from elimination, but for Williams, everything needs to be taken step by step. In essence, he’s right. The Celtics can’t look past their June 16 game against the Warriors because there’s no guarantee of Game 7 if they do.

Instead, Boston needs to focus on taking care of the ball, executing its offense at a higher level and winning a do-or-die game in front of its home crowd. Only then can the Celtics begin to dream of winning their third Game 7 of their postseason run.

“For sure, I think about winning a championship, but as far as a legacy goes, I’m just trying to win the next game. Possession by possession, that’s the biggest thing for us right now,” Williams told reporters following Boston’s June 15 practice session.

Williams Listed as Questionable Heading into Game 6

As is par for the course these days, Williams is listed as questionable ahead of game six on June 16 — although the likelihood is that he will play. Since returning from his knee surgery, Williams has found his name on the injury report before every game, so there shouldn’t be anything to be concerned about heading into Thursday’s contest.

Throughout his five NBA Finals appearances thus far, the fourth-year big man is averaging seven points, 2.4 blocks, 7.4 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game. However, Williams presence on the court goes far beyond the box score, as his leaping ability causes players to abort their drives or adjust their shooting motion, both of which act as a wildly successful brand of rim protection.

Williams and the Celtics will be looking to tie up the series again at 3-3 when they face the Warriors on June 16 in Boston.

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