Robert Williams

Celtics Notes: Williams, Irving, Stevens, Hunter

The Celtics are dealing with another injured center after rookie Robert Williams took a hard fall onto his back in last night’s game, writes Darren Hartwell of NBC Sports Boston. Making his first career start because of injuries to Al Horford and Aron Baynes, Williams left the game with a back contusion in the second quarter.

“I’m guessing we’re looking at a Jaylen (Brown) time frame from this year, at least,” coach Brad Stevens said. Brown suffered a similar injury last March and missed six games. Boston has nine games left, so it’s possible that Williams won’t return until the playoffs. Jayson Tatum also fell on his back last night, but his injury appears to be less severe.

Losing Williams could affect the Celtics’ plans for their open roster spot. There was a report Friday night that they would be signing Greg Monroe to a 10-day contract, but when that didn’t happen yesterday, there were suggestions that the opening might go to Thomas Robinson, who joined the organization’s G League affiliate last week. If Williams is out for the rest of the season, that might tip the scales back in favor of Monroe.

There’s more this morning out of Boston:

  • Kyrie Irving appeared to take another swipe at his young teammates, saying the Celtics need to be “more mature down the stretch” after blowing an 18-point fourth quarter lead in a loss to the Hornets, relays A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston. Irving, who has been outspoken about the difficulties of being a veteran leader on a young team, also questioned Stevens’ approach to handling Kemba Walker, who scored 18 fourth quarter points to lead the comeback. “We should have probably trapped him more like every other team does in the league but we didn’t,” Irving said. “He torches us every time we play them, so it’s no surprise.”
  • Before Saturday’s meltdown, Stevens indicated rotation changes could be coming, Blakely adds in a separate story. He told his players that “toughness” will determine who plays in the postseason. “We are in evaluation stage on who’s reliable,” Stevens said. “… If you don’t have that reliability; if you don’t have that toughness. If you don’t have the ability to move on to what’s next, you don’t last very long.”
  • R.J. Hunter hasn’t taken the court for Boston since signing a two-way contract in January, but he believes he’s a mentally stronger player than when he was drafted by the team in 2015. He talks about that aspect of the game an interview tweeted by the Celtics.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 3/14/19

Here are Thursday’s assignments and recalls from around the NBA G League:

  • The Raptors assigned forward Malcolm Miller to the Raptors 905, G League affiliate of the team, announcing the news on social media. After playing for the Raptors 905 earlier today, Miller was recalled by Toronto and suited up for the NBA team against the Lakers.
  • The Celtics have recalled Robert Williams from the Maine Red Claws, the team announced on social media. Williams was drafted by Boston with the the No. 27 pick in 2018, spending part of this season with Maine.
  • The Jazz assigned center Tony Bradley to their G League team in Salt Lake City, announcing the move in a press release. Bradley has seen action in 17 games with the team’s G League affiliate, averaging 13.6 points per game on 56% from the field.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 3/12/19

Here are Tuesday’s G League assignments and recalls from around the NBA:

  • The Grizzlies recalled Tyler Dorsey from the G League affiliate, the Memphis Hustle, the team announced (Twitter link).
  • The Celtics assigned Robert Williams to their G League affiliate, the Maine Red Claws, the team announced (Twitter link).
  • The Wizards assigned Chasson Randle to their G League affiliate, the Capital City Go-Go, per a press release. Randle has averaged 5.7 PPG and 2.0 APG in 15.2 minutes per game with Washington.
  • The Jazz assigned Grayson Allen to the Salt Lake City Stars, the team announced today in a press release. Allen, on his 11th assignment of the season, will suit up for Utah’s G League affiliate tonight.
  • The Sixers recalled rookie Zhaire Smith, who was available for Philadelphia’s game tonight, according to the team (via Twitter). Smith, who has yet to make his NBA debut, didn’t see any action vs. Cleveland.

Latest On Anthony Davis

Some members of the Pelicans organization want to get the Anthony Davis trade done today to eliminate the public relations distraction, but those feelings don’t go all the way to the top, according to Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe (Twitter link). The NFL’s Saints remain the priority for owner Gayle Benson and VP Mickey Loomis, who aren’t bothered by the Davis situation.

There’s more news about the top name on the trade market:

  • The Lakers’ last offer to the Pelicans involved Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Ivica Zubac, Josh Hart and a pair of first-round picks, tweets John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7. He suggests the Celtics are prepared to offer Jayson Tatum, Marcus Smart, Robert Williams, Al Horford (assuming he opts in) and possibly three first-round picks this summer.
  • Davis will pressure the Pelicans to start playing him if he’s not dealt before the deadline, according to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin (Twitter link). “Every game,” a source said. Davis has been sidelined with a fractured left index finger, but recently received medical clearance.
  • Gambadoro expects Davis to be in the lineup for tomorrow’s game against Minnesota (Twitter link).

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 2/4/19

Here are Monday’s assignments and recalls from the G League:

  • The Nets assigned forward Mitch Creek to the Long Island Nets, then recalled him and rookie Dzanan Musa in time for tonight’s game against Milwaukee, Brian Lewis of the New York Post tweets. Musa scored 26 points and Creek added 15 in Long Island’s loss to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants on Monday afternoon. Creek signed a second 10-day contract on Monday morning.
  • The Celtics recalled rookie big man Robert Williams from the Maine Red Claws, the team’s PR department tweets. The first-round pick has appeared in 22 games with Boston this season.
  • The Rockets assigned forward Gary Clark to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle tweets. Clark has appeared in 36 games with the Rockets, including one start, averaging 2.9 PPG and 2.6 RPG in 14.6 MPG.

Aron Baynes To Be Sidelined “A Few Weeks”

Celtics center Aron Baynes is “shutting it down for a few weeks” because of pain in his left foot, tweets Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe. The team says the injury is to the cuboid bone, adds Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston (Twitter link).

Baynes said the pain started about two weeks ago and “wasn’t getting any better,” relays A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston (Twitter link). He has tried to play through it, logging 21 minutes Friday against the Knicks, but it has become too severe.

The timing means Baynes will almost certainly be out through the All-Star break. Baynes’ absence will mean more minutes for Daniel Theis, Guerschon Yabusele and rookie Robert Williams, although Williams will miss today’s game with back soreness.

Baynes has seen reduced playing time in his second season with the Celtics, averaging, 5.7 PPG and 4.3 RPG in about 15 minutes per night. He has a $5.45MM player option for next season.

Celtics Notes: Hayward, Williams, Davis, Bird

Gordon Hayward has become a target for hecklers in Boston as he struggles to rebuild his game following last season’s devastating ankle injury, writes Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe. Hayward continues to struggle with his shot, hitting just 41.6% from the field and averaging 10.6 PPG. He has been limited to two points in each of the last two games, and teams are daring him to shoot from outside.

Despite the difficulties, the Celtics will need Hayward to be at his best for the playoffs, so coach Brad Stevens plans to keep giving him opportunities.

“I think you’ve just got to keep playing him and ultimately he’s going to have some ups and downs and he’s had a couple of games where the ball didn’t go in as much,” Stevens said. “I thought he was active, I thought he did some good things, and when that ball goes in he’ll feel a lot better and it will look a lot better on paper. Ultimately, we’ve got a lot of wings, a lot of other wings played more [Monday] and against Golden State, but there are going to be nights where we are counting on him to close the game because he really got it rolling.”

There’s more today out of Boston:
  • Rookie center Robert Williams is free from knee pain for the first time since his freshman season in college, relays Mark Murphy of The Boston Herald. The Celtics’ training staff has helped Williams control a condition called popliteal artery entrapment syndrome that kept him from playing through most of summer league. “I can honestly say with the treatment schedule that the tendinitis level has really gone down,” Williams said. “It’s not bothering me near as much as it used to. Definitely a good thing, but have to stay on top of treatment.”
  • Along with a wealth of young players and draft picks to offer, the Celtics might have an advantage in the Anthony Davis sweepstakes because of Davis’ friendship with Kyrie Irving. “Kyrie and Anthony Davis are boys,” Brian Scalabrine of NBC Sports Boston said in a an appearance on Chris Mannix’s The Crossover NBA podcast. “I think they text like every day.” 
  • Jabari Bird, who has remained on the roster all season despite legal troubles, faces two new charges in his domestic violence case, according to John R. Ellement and Travis Andersen of The Boston Globe. Court documents were released today revealing new counts of witness intimidation and threatening to commit a crime.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 1/24/19

Here are Thursday’s assignments and recalls from around the NBA G League:

  • The Sixers have assigned Justin Patton and Zhaire Smith to the Delaware Blue Coats for rehab purposes, the team announced. Patton will begin practicing with limited and controlled contact as he works back from right foot surgery, while Smith will participate in non-contact practices as he returns from a Jones fracture in his left foot.
  • The Celtics assigned rookie forward Robert Williams to the Maine Red Claws, announcing the move on social media. Williams was selected by the Celtics with the No. 27 pick in the 2018 draft, appearing in 22 games so far this season.
  • The Hornets have recalled Dwayne Bacon from the Greensboro Swarm, the team announced in a press release. Bacon is holding season averages of 4.6 points, 1.5 rebounds and 0.7 assists in 23 games with Charlotte on the year.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 12/10/18

Here are Monday’s assignments and recalls from around the NBA:

  • In what might be the most significant G League assignment of the season, the Warriors sent All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins to their affiliate in Santa Cruz, the team announced. Cousins is rehabbing from a torn Achilles and is hopeful to return within three-to-four weeks. We relayed Cousins’ assignment and his comments after Monday’s practice.
  • The Rockets recalled Isaiah Hartenstein from their G League affiliate in Rio Grande, per Mark Berman of FOX 26. Hartenstein (Twitter link). The 20-year-old center has appeared in 21 games this season, averaging 2.1 PPG and 1.6 RPG.
  •  The Celtics recalled Robert Williams from their G League affiliate Maine Red Claws, the team announced (Twitter link). Williams has appeared in nine games with Boston on the season and was drafted by the team 27th overall in June.
  • The Bulls assigned Antonio Blakeney to their G League affiliate Windy City Bulls, the team announced (Twitter link). Blakeney has appeared in 24 games with Chicago this season but only played four of their past seven.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 12/6/18

Here are Thursday’s assignments and recalls from around the NBA: