Celtics Notes: Williams, Tatum, Brown, Seeding

Celtics big man Robert Williams will undergo further testing on his left knee after spraining it in the second half of Sunday’s victory over Minnesota, writes Tim Bontemps of ESPN.

“Don’t know exactly what happened,” head coach Ime Udoka said after Sunday’s game. “He said it wasn’t even a specific play that he remembers, but came out of the game, had some pain, obviously went back to get checked out and was in quite a bit of pain, and he’ll get scanned in the morning and we’ll know then.”

The Celtics are in Toronto on Monday night for the second game of a back-to-back set and Williams didn’t make the trip, says Bontemps. While he’ll be out for that game, it’s unclear how much longer the 24-year-old may be sidelined. As Udoka indicated in his postgame comments, the team will know more after assessing the results of today’s scans.

Here’s more on the Celtics:

  • The Celtics, who now hold the top seed in the Eastern Conference, are 24-4 since being below .500 on January 21. During those 28 games, Jayson Tatum has averaged 29.9 PPG, 7.3 RPG, and 5.0 APG on .505/.414/.892 shooting. “I wish I could start the season like this and then I’d be the MVP. But I guess it’s the most important time of the season,” Tatum said on Sunday, per Jared Weiss of The Athletic. “I guess just finding my rhythm, but it’s the best time to find your rhythm, when you’re playing your best going into the postseason. I don’t really have an exact answer.”
  • As dominant as the Celtics have been as of late, health problems could be a concern for the team. In addition to Williams’ knee injury, star wings Jaylen Brown (right knee soreness) and Tatum (right patella tendinopathy) are battling nagging issues of their own. As Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe writes, the club may have to decide in the season’s final two weeks whether it makes more sense to get Brown and Tatum a little rest or to push hard for the No. 1 seed and home-court advantage.
  • Addressing that dilemma on Sunday, Udoka offered insight on which way the team is leaning: I’m not really worried about [seeding]. Our [concern] is winning, health and playing the best basketball at the right time. It’s too much closeness to try to maneuver and manipulate things to pick an opponent. As far as resting, that’s the main thing. We’ve got some guys who got some nicks now and we have to be smart about it. If we can get guys one [game off] is what we’re looking at now.”
  • Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston poses four questions that he believes the red-hot Celtics still have to answer down the stretch and in the postseason.
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