UPDATE (6 P.M. ET): Robert Williams and Kemba Walker have been ruled out of Game 4.
The following was part of the original story:
The availability of Kemba Walker and Robert Williams for Game 4 between the Boston Celtics and Brooklyn Nets was in question entering Sunday’s game.
But based on Brad Stevens’ pregame press conference, things aren’t looking great as both deal with injuries.
“The last word was we would wait until they both came in, get the final word, but they’re both unlikely,” the Celtics coach said ahead of the game.
Walker was listed as questionable one day removed from Game 4, but a report Sunday suggested his status was downgraded.
Walker’s ailment is a left knee medial bone bruise — the same knee that Boston?s medical staff has been on top of all season, limiting his playing time to have him ready for the postseason.
According to Stevens, the starting point guard felt something in Game 2, and even after three days rest, Walker was more sore after Game 3. His coach isn’t sure if the main issue is the bone bruise or the knee issue he’s been treating all year.
“I don’t know, it’s probably a combination. He’s sore,” Stevens said. “He’s dying to play, and it hurts that if he’s unable to, that he’s not going to be able to be out there. He’s not a guy that likes to miss and, especially with the anticipation of getting back in this series, you had a huge win on Friday, great opportunity tonight in front of your home crowd. So I’d say it’s probably a combination of those two things.”
It appeared the 31-year-old could be playing through soreness Friday in a poor performance that allowed Marcus Smart to step up.
“The ankle injury is not like a high ankle sprain or anything that’s too significant but he is really sore. And the turf toe on top of that,” Stevens said. “He tried to give it a go the other night, I don’t know how closely you were paying attention to him, he just didn’t look like he was moving at all. And he spent the better part of each of these off days in a boot. He has not felt any better yesterday, this morning. I thought he was more unlikely than Kemba. So, you know, he’s in a lot of discomfort.”
With two starters likely down (not including Jaylen Brown, who was shut down for the season), the Celtics have their work cut out for them trailing the Nets 2-1 in the first-round playoff series.
“They both really wanted to play, they’ve been in constant contact with our trainers,” Stevens said. “They’re bummed out.”
Tip-off between Boston and Brooklyn is 7 p.m. ET from TD Garden.