Update: Williams is set to have surgery and there are varying timetables for his return depending on the procedure, per head coach Ime Udoka.
Robert Williams will have surgery, per Ime Udoka. No details on timeline of when or how long Williams will be out. Different surgical options are being considered.— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) March 28, 2022
Boston Celtics C Robert Williams has suffered a torn meniscus and is expected to miss several weeks, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Williams could end up being out longer than the several weeks timeline depending on how he recovers and what the Celtics plan to do. Boston recently overtook first place in the Eastern Conference on a 22-3 run over their past 25 games heading into the postseason. The Celtics have seven games remaining on their regular-season schedule.
This injury to Williams could be the difference between the Celtics competing for a title. Boston still has veterans Al Horford and Daniel Theis down low. Neither player is as impactful on the defensive end as Williams. He had been ruled out for Monday’s game vs. the Toronto Raptors after sustaining the injury on Sunday against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
As of now, the Celtics are +950 to win it all on DraftKings Sportsbook, fifth-best odds overall. Those will likely change. We’ll have to see if Williams can get back for the playoffs but that seems unlikely. The best case scenario is Time Lord can return at some point in the postseason, the worst being he’s done for the year. Either way, there isn’t a reason to go jumping on the Celtics futures at the moment. Boston is still a quality team that can compete but it’ll be difficult to deal with the Milwaukee Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers without Williams there to defend Giannis Antetokounmpo and Joel Embiid.
The Brooklyn Nets are still favored to win the East at +250. There’s a scenario in which the Nets end up with the 8-seed and play the Celtics in the first round. The East standings are tight, however, so that may not be the case. Either way, the Celtics may not have an easy opponent in the first round of the playoffs, which doesn’t help if Williams is going to be out. The Sixers are also +100 to win the Atlantic Division right now with Boston at -135. Taking Philly may not be a bad idea only 0.5 game back of the Celtics. The Sixers schedule after Tuesday’s game vs. the Bucks is a cake walk up until the postseason.