Celtics Notes: R. Williams, Pritchard, Smart, Roster Spot

Robert Williams said he’s “feeling good” a week after straining his left hamstring and tells Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe that he hopes to be able to play sometime during the Celtics‘ six-game road trip. However, Williams cautioned that there’s no target date for him to return and said he won’t try to rush back.

“It’s obviously something I want to do, but just trying to check these boxes and make sure it’s straight,” Williams about returning to the court. “It’s kind of tricky, because you can feel great and then get out there and do one hard move and get the pain back, so just trying to watch it.”

Williams added that he’s not sure what caused the injury, which happened during a March 3 game. He said the hamstring started to feel tight while he was running, and he wanted to keep moving to see if that would cause it to loosen up.

The Celtics are likely to be careful with Williams, who has dealt with a variety of injuries throughout his career. He missed the first 32 games of this season while recovering from maintenance surgery on his left knee and has been available for just 28 games.

There’s more on the Celtics:

  • Payton Pritchard, who sat out Friday’s game with a heel issue, didn’t accompany the team for the start of the road trip, Himmelsbach adds. Coach Joe Mazzulla wasn’t able to provide an update on Pritchard’s condition during tonight’s pre-game meeting with reporters. The Celtics may keep two-way player JD Davison on their active roster while Pritchard is unavailable, tweets Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe.
  • Marcus Smart offered his support to Raptors guard Fred VanVleet, who was fined $30K this week for harsh criticism of NBA officials, writes Brian Robb of MassLive. Smart, who has been involved in numerous run-ins with referees during his career, said he has felt that some officials have “a personal vendetta” against him. “As players we just want that consistency,” Smart said. “Just like for us, we get emotional, too. But, for us, we get in trouble for it. And we just want that consistency around. And that’s it. So I had that in the past but, like I said, I’m going to let Fred do all my talking around that.”
  • The Celtics appear content to wait to fill their open roster spot, Robb writes in a mailbag column. He points out that the team saves thousands of dollars in luxury tax payments every day that the slot remains open and that whoever is ultimately signed shouldn’t be a factor in the postseason. Robb expects the front office to move slowly and see if any emergency needs arise.
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