After missing the last eight games, it would appear that Robert Williams is set to return to the Boston Celtics rotation for their March 21 contest against the Sacramento Kings.
According to ESPN’s Tim Bontemps, Williams is no longer appearing on the Celtics’ injury report and could make his return to the court against one of the most in-form teams in the NBA to help boost Boston’s chances of ending their road trip on a high note.
“Robert Williams isn’t listed on Boston’s injury report for tomorrow’s game in Sacramento, meaning he’s set to make his return after an eight-game absence with a hamstring strain Williams suffered in Boston’s loss to Brooklyn on March 3,” Bontemps wrote on Twitter.
Williams has struggled for health this season, participating in just 28 games this season, after starting the year on the sidelines as he recovered from a second surgery on his knee following a meniscus tear in the 2021-22 season.
Former Celtics Center Working Out With Lakers
While Williams is set to boost Boston’s frontcourt rotation with his return from injury, a former Celtics big man is looking for his next opportunity. According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, Tristan Thompson is working out with the Los Angeles Lakers as they look for additional depth at the center position following the recent injury of Mo Bamba.
“The Los Angeles Lakers are working out free agent centers Tristan Thompson and Tony Bradley this week; sources tell me and @jovanbuha. Thompson, an 11-year NBA veteran, was a key member of the 2016 championship Cavaliers team alongside LeBron James,” Charania tweeted.
Thompson appeared in 54 regular-season games for the Celtics, averaging 7.6 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 1.2 assists per game while shooting 51.8% from the field in what was a disappointing season for both him and the team.
Brian Scalabrine Sounds Off on Celtics’ Defense
Despite being among the best defensive teams in the NBA last season, the Celtics have struggled to replicate their rearguard dominance under Joe Mazzulla, in part due to Williams’ consistent absence from the rotation but also due to questionable schemes implemented by the coaching staff.
When speaking on a recent episode of ESPN’s The Lowe Post Podcast, former Celtic turn play-by-play announcer Brian Scalabrine shared his thought’s on the team’s defensive regression.
“They don’t guard at nearly the clip that they used to guard at,” Scalabrine said. “It used to be that everyone’s fighting to be the best defender on the team. It was a good rivalry … It used to be a thing. They used to take pride in guarding the ball. They used to take pride in shutting down the other team’s best player…they’re far from, far from a 48-minute per game team that sits down defensively and really works on that side of the ball.”
Celtics fans will be hoping that Williams’ return to the rotation can help revive Boston’s floundering end to the season and help reinvigorate a defense that is stumbling down the stretch, giving up leads on a consistent basis, and failing to set the tempo of the game.