Celtics Notes: G. Williams, Brown, Pritchard, Davison

Celtics forward Grant Williams has been playing through a ligament strain in his right (shooting) elbow that has been exacerbated by muscle inflammation in the surrounding area, league sources tell Jared Weiss of The Athletic. Williams has been wearing a sleeve on his elbow since February 12, Weiss writes, which is around the time he sustained the injury.

According to Weiss, Williams was unable to lift heavy weights for a few weeks, though he was able to resume that activity prior to aggravating the injury in practice over the weekend. The former first-round pick has been dealing with pain when he turns or grabs with his right hand, sources tell Weiss.

Williams’ injury may be one reason why he’s been in a shooting slump, as he posted a .333/.325/.737 shooting line in February, far below his season-long splits of .455/.404/.804. As Weiss notes, his playing time has been cut back as well, with trade deadline addition Mike Muscala and second-year forward Sam Hauser both competing with Williams for minutes.

However, Weiss says Williams didn’t blame the elbow injury for missing both free throws in a tie game at the end of regulation on Monday in Cleveland, when one make would have sealed the win. Boston eventually lost in overtime.

Here’s more on the Celtics:

  • Williams hasn’t always been known for his shooting ability. In an interesting article for The Athletic, Weiss writes that assistant coach Ben Sullivan, who previously worked with Giannis Antetokounmpo in Milwaukee, helped instill confidence in Williams, something he admits he’s struggled with since he’s been dealing with the injury because he doesn’t think of himself as a natural shooter. Williams provides more insight on the injury and says he’s been receiving cortisone treatments, which have helped with the elbow discomfort. “Shot’s feeling good, medicine helps, so it’s just a matter of continuing to be confident and continuing to shoot the way I am,” Williams said, per Weiss. “From now on, it’s a matter of letting it go, let the shot fly, and think about everything after.”
  • Star wing Jaylen Brown says he’s grown weary of dealing with the mask he’s been wearing after suffering a facial fracture last month. I’m kind of tired of the mask, to be honest,” he said (Twitter link via Weiss). “I know it looks cool. But sometimes it’s hard to breathe. It kind of limits your vision at times depending on the lighting and depth perception. But y’all don’t want to hear none of that, that’s something like excuses.”
  • Head coach Joe Mazzulla says reserve guard Payton Pritchard could miss the team’s upcoming six-game road trip, which ends March 21 in Sacramento, tweets Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe. Pritchard sustained a left heel injury at the end of regulation in Monday’s game when he missed a contested driving layup. Rookie guard JD Davison, who is on a two-way contract, may stay with the Celtics to provide depth, Washburn adds.
  • In case you missed it, the Celtics still have an opening on their standard roster, and they’re also involved in an intriguing second-round subplot that depends on where Houston finishes in the standings.
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