Celtics Notes: Williams, Tatum, Brown, Horford

Celtics big man Robert Williams is battling a knee injury that has sidelined him for several playoff games and limited his effectiveness in others, but head coach Ime Udoka has maintained a desire to use Williams whenever possible, writes Jay King of The Athletic. As King outlines, the Celtics view Williams as a foundational piece and want him to be “adaptable” to a variety of matchups — the Warriors’ offense presents some unique challenges for him to figure out.

“It’s the NBA Finals and we’ve got to do what we’ve got to do to win,” Udoka said. “But this is the core group going forward, and to have the confidence to be able to figure it out with him is going to be big going forward.”

In Wednesday’s Game 3, Williams was a difference-maker on defense in the second half, registering three steals and a block during one impressive two-minute stretch and helping the Celtics limit Golden State to just 11 fourth-quarter points. The big man said his knee injury is one that would normally require more time off, but the extra days off after Games 1 and 2 have helped him, tweets Tim Bontemps of ESPN.

“I’m just trying to be accountable for my team,” Williams said, per Jared Weiss of The Athletic (Twitter link). “We made it this far. I had a discussion with myself about pushing through this, but I’m happy with how it’s going. We’ll worry about the injury at the end of the season. But for now, I’m still fighting.”

Here’s more on the Celtics:

  • As they did repeatedly during the season’s second half and in the first three rounds of the playoffs, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown showed once again on Wednesday why the idea of breaking them up with a trade – a popular topic of speculation in the first half of 2021/22 – is one that shouldn’t come up again, writes Chris Mannix of SI.com.
  • Tatum said earlier this week that he’s not sure why the debate over whether or not he’s a true superstar has been such a common one over the last couple years, as Tim Bontemps of ESPN relays. “I’ve seen there’s a huge debate: Is he a superstar or is he not? I want to know where that came from,” Tatum said. “… It’s been a big deal this last year and a half or two years. I see it all the time. There’s always been a question in the back of my head, I wonder who spoke on my behalf or said that or why that was such a big deal.” The Celtics forward added that he’s more concerned about winning a title than determining his individual standing in the NBA: “If you win a championship, they can debate a lot of things. They can’t debate whether or not you’re a champion.”
  • In a separate story for ESPN, Bontemps takes an in-depth look at Al Horford‘s 15-year journey to his first NBA Finals and what the veteran big man means to the Celtics.
View Comments (22)