Celtics Injuries: Ime Udoka Shares Robert Williams, Marcus Smart Insights

Boston will have a few days rest before the NBA Finals start Thursday


May 31, 2022

The Boston Celtics were whole during the final three games of the Eastern Conference finals, and head coach Ime Udoka seems to think they’ll be that way to start the NBA Finals as well.

The big questions, of course, relate to point guard Marcus Smart and big man Robert Williams. Injuries hindered both during various points of Boston’s best-of-seven against the Miami Heat. They were, for the most part, able to gut it out and gave the Celtics impactful minutes.

The Celtics, who earned the trip to the NBA Finals on Sunday after a 100-96 victory at FTX Arena, now have a few days off before starting the title series Thursday. Udoka provided insight on both starters while speaking with reporters Tuesday.

“Rob’s all right, he’s good. He felt good. His minutes were low, only played 14 in that game, tried to keep him in the lower portion if we could. Obviously, that’s beneficial for him going forward, but the days off as well. So he should feel better in general,” Udoka said of Williams, who missed Game 3 with knee soreness, per NBC Sports Boston. “(He’s) getting looked at today. Will continue to get treatment and rehab in order to get swelling down and some of the pain and mobility back. So it’s going to be an ongoing thing, like I mentioned, he’s day to day pretty much throughout the playoffs. Should feel better with time in between especially with these two days off in between games.”

Smart said after Sunday’s win that he was dealing with a trio of lower-body ailments — quad, foot and ankle. Despite pain and soreness creeping up in the first quarter of Game 7, he stuck it out with the help of the group.

“Marcus, there’s no concern about that,” Udoka said of Smart, who missed Games 1 and 4 in the conference finals. “The swelling is what it is and that will dissipate as time goes by. And the pain tolerance thing, he can obviously play through a lot. He did that and played heavy minutes.”

The Celtics will benefit should they return to full health as Boston travels to Golden State to play the Western Conference champion Warriors. Game 1 of the NBA Finals is scheduled for Thursday at 9 p.m. ET.

Thumbnail photo via Jasen Vinlove/USA TODAY Sports Images
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