Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla announced that center Robert Williams will be sidelined for seven-to-10 days with a strained left hamstring, writes Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe. However, given Williams’ history of injuries, Washburn believes he could be out longer and it might be best to shut him down until the playoffs.
Williams didn’t play Sunday after hurting his hamstring in Friday’s loss to the Nets. Washburn notes that even though Sunday’s game went to two overtimes, Mazzulla didn’t bring big men Luke Kornet or Blake Griffin off his bench. Grant Williams was used at center for long stretches of the game, and the Knicks repeatedly attacked him on the pick-and-roll.
According to Washburn, the Celtics believe they can survive the loss of their starting center with their current rotation of big men. However, he notes that the team has an open roster spot and there are numerous veteran free agents for president of basketball operations Brad Stevens to consider.
There’s more from Boston:
- After holding the NBA’s best record for most of the season, the Celtics have now dropped three of their last four games, Washburn adds. Mazzulla said he has “zero concerns” about the recent rough patch, framing it as an opportunity for the team to grow. “You obviously want to be playing your best basketball later in the season as you get closer to the playoffs, but this is a tough stretch,” Mazzulla said. “And whatever this stretch has you have to learn from it and use it later in the year.”
- With Robert Williams unavailable, Mazzulla went back to his early-season lineup by inserting Derrick White into the starting five, per Brian Robb of MassLive. White had 12 points, six rebounds and four assists in 32 minutes, and Robb suggests he could be considered the team’s third-most valuable player behind Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.
- Al Horford believes a lack of focus is causing the Celtics to let big leads slip away, according to Souichi Terada of MassLive. Brooklyn overcame a 28-point deficit Friday night, and New York trailed by as many as 14 points on Sunday. “We’re not locking in as much as we need to,” Horford said. “This is the second time that we kind of have a lead, we feel good about it, a team makes a run and we just kind of let them back in the game. And throughout the season, you’re gonna have adversity. We’ve played pretty good basketball most of the year, and this is a time where you tighten up, you fix some of these things, some of these issues, or it goes the other way.”
12 thoughts on “Celtics Notes: R. Williams, Mazzulla, White, Horford”
Surprise surprise about R. Williams I’m completely baffled y they’d didn’t sign or trade (at the deadline) for a backup 5 has to be the worst thing Stevens as a GM/president everything else has been awesome
They signed Mike Muscala, a 6’10 center.
I sure hope Al Horford is right! Right now I can’t see our Boston Celtics “tightening” up their consistent sloppy play this season. It’s ingrained in our DNA by now. Or see us winning a title. Turnover after turnover plague us. We have Tatum’s lackluster, easy-to-anticipate-and intercept, or skying out of bounds, passes. Then his complaining & not getting back. Smart’s stupid, ridiculous, bad passes at the knees. We see passes where no one’s at & opponent’s shooting open foul line jumpers. We watch Jaylen’s laziness on opponents’ back cuts. Grant’s new desire to pass up three’s and drive. Coach’s reluctance to play spark plugs Payton & Luke. I’d say if all our Celtics played like Al, Derrick & White we’d be ok. Go Celtics! Prove me wrong!
Come on man, these are the same guys everyone was praising a month ago. It’s a long season. Don’t get too high, don’t get too low.
Our Celts were winning games off their play from last year as other teams weren’t ready to go. And don’t get me wrong, Tatum & Brown are great … but both could be better. Tatum needs to slow down and play smarter & in control. Like Jimmy Butler for example. But now all NBA teams are up to speed so I’m worried. Go Celtics!
A team winning games this year based on how they played in the prior season is certainly a new one.
Not that that even makes sense with the Celtics having had to contend with injuries throughout the year. Exactly how is that being up to speed?
Our Celtics built a lot of confidence in the 2nd half of last year. Started playing as a team and it naturally carried over. We won a bunch early while other teams with worse teams or fitting in new players weren’t ready.
Complaining about the team w second best record in the league because they had a few off games…tell me you’re a Boston sports fan without saying you’re a Boston sports fan.
Sorry all 6 feet of Payton Pritchard isn’t getting enough playing time. Joe Mazulla I hope you’re reading this…and oh yeah make sure you call time outs. Can’t win without calling enough time outs!
Are these off games or a team that can’t play mistake free basketball?
Celtics took Nets for granted. Then got whooped by Knicks. Celtics didn’t let us back in. We Took It. We coming for the Cavs now .
It’s a long season. Ups and downs happen. Celtics have a shot at it, and as a basketball fan that’s all you can ask for.
Knicks just might have a shot at it too.
Sure, Celtics have a shot, Knicks too. But when I recently watched Philly play the Bucks I didn’t see stupid sloppy turnovers especially as both teams tried to close out the game. Celtics just make so many mistakes during & closing out games they have become almost unwatchable. They all look gassed too, like Smart last night. Still, I don’t think tiredness is the problem. It’s they’ve never been disciplined to not make turnovers. Thus I don’t see them “tightening up” now. Hope I’m wrong! We have the best team in years! Go Celtics!