Center Robert Williams III returned for the Boston Celtics in Game 1 of the 2022 Eastern Conference Finals, but wasn’t able to finish due to yet another injury scare.
Fortunately, head coach Ime Udoka told reporters after the game that Williams’ new issue is unrelated to his recently surgically repaired knee. In fact, it was just a “cramp in his calf,” as far as Udoka knows.
Not ideal that the oft-injured Williams had to deal with something fresh, again. But that it’s not related to his MCL is relatively good news. He had returned to the court after missing the final four games of the Celtics’ series against the Bucks with knee soreness.
Williams started limping after this play midway through the fourth quarter, while defending Heat big man Bam Adebayo:
Rob Williams left the game after this play with Bam Adebayo pic.twitter.com/OlzBfU7xe1— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) May 18, 2022
He left after the play and didn’t return. The Heat were up 12 with about six minutes left in the game, so while it may not have quite been white flag time, it’s understandable that the team would sit Williams for the final six minutes as a precaution.
Williams was arguably the Celtics’ best player in Game 1, scoring 18 points and pulling down nine rebounds with two blocked shots in 28 minutes. He was also the only Celtic to finish with a positive plus/minus, with a plus-5.
The Celtics are dealing with all kinds of health questions about their starters. Point guard Marcus Smart is reportedly aiming to return in Game 2, while Al Horford’s availability is a mystery after he entered the NBA’s Health & Safety Protocol.
PHOTOS: Celtics take on Heat in Game 1 of 2022 Eastern Conference Finals
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