The Boston Celtics have been one of the most impressive teams down the stretch of the 2021-2022 NBA season, winning 24 out of their last 28 games and vaulting into the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference. Things have been going great for the team, but they may end up missing a very key player by the time the playoffs get here.
Center Robert Williams III has torn the meniscus in his left knee and will be out for several weeks, sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski on Monday.
ESPN Sources: Celtics C Robert Williams has suffered a meniscus tear in his left knee and will minimally miss several weeks. Further evaluation today will help provide a timetable. Boston moved into first-place Sunday, and Williams has been immense part of NBA’s best defense.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) March 28, 2022
The center injured his knee in Sunday’s victory against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Williams has been the heart and soul of the league’s best defense this season, averaging 10 points, 9.6 rebounds, and 2.2 blocks per game.
It’s a crushing diagnosis for both Williams and the Celtics and the NBA world also seems to realize how big of a loss it is for the team as the playoffs near.
Just brutal news for the Celtics, who have been obliterating teams for two months – and Williams has been a huge part of it. He’s one of the most improved players in the league this season, is an All-Defense candidate and has played a career-high 61 games. https://t.co/CU0KVVQjxa
— Tim Bontemps (@TimBontemps) March 28, 2022
Brutal. Gotta keep pushing though. This team has more grit & heart than people realize. https://t.co/eN7IecZFSZ
— Anna Horford (@AnnaHorford) March 28, 2022
Winning chips is so hard, like you have to be lucky. They are the hottest team in BBall and lose their anchor tough. https://t.co/jWxbpYGzqK
— FrostyTheTruth (@FrostyTheTruth) March 28, 2022
Hate to see this. https://t.co/kSP2mVGTG7
— C. (@ChelseaSherrod) March 28, 2022
Huge loss if it lingers into the playoffs. https://t.co/fGFThmxtCX
— Carp (@robcarpenter81) March 28, 2022
It’s unclear when Williams will return from the team, but given that the first round of the playoffs is set to begin on April 16, it seems extremely unlikely that Williams will suit up for the Celtics’ first-round matchup. The team has said that there will be an update later in the week on a potential return timeline for Williams this season.
It’s arguable that Williams is the team’s most irreplaceable piece given his importance to their defense, which has been their calling card this season. This could be a huge blow for their chances of a deep playoff run.