Last season, Robert Williams started in all 61 games played for the Boston Celtics. Now, recovering from knee surgery, the team has taken a cautious approach and the defensive anchor himself has no issue with it.
Since Williams made his 2022-23 season debut on Dec. 16 against the Orlando Magic, he’s remained on the Celtics bench. While inserting Williams back into the starting lineup may sound like a no-brainer, the man himself is all for his current role.
Williams also revealed that Joe Mazzulla conversed with the big man in regard to his role before his return.
“(Mazzulla) talked to me about it before I came back, which was expected,” Williams said, per Brian Robb of MassLive. “I’m a team player. If we’re rolling with something, I feel like we’re supposed to keep rolling with it.”
After five games, Williams has begun to settle in. The Texas A&M product grabbed 15 rebounds with 11 points against the Houston Rockets on Tuesday. Overall, he’s averaged 7.6 rebounds, 7.8 rebounds and 1.2 blocks in 18.4 minutes per contest. While restricted, Williams has pretty on-brand signs of regaining strength and comfort.
“Just doing the natural stuff that I do,” Williams said. “They’re telling me to get out, roll quick, create shots for other people.”
Mazzulla emphasized the idea of rolling with whatever’s worked for the Celtics thus far. After their win over the Rockets, Boston remained atop the NBA standings at 25-10.
“I just think it depends on what’s best for our team at the time,” Mazzulla said, per NBC Sports Boston video. “… We’ve fluctuated the starting lineup a little bit throughout the year, which I think has given us some flexibility. But we’ve found consistency in what we have now.”