The Celtics are starting to find their groove down the home stretch.
Boston has won four of its last five games, capping off the strong stretch with a dominant showing over the Indiana Pacers at TD Garden on Friday night. If they hope to catch up to the Milwaukee Bucks for the Eastern Conference’s No. 1 seed, the Celtics will need to rip off a considerable winning streak over their final eight games before the postseason.
How can they hope to do that? Jaylen Brown has an opinion.
“(Robert Williams III) is the key,” Brown said, per Souichi Terada of MassLive. “We just gotta keep Rob healthy.”
That has been easier said than done for the Celtics this season, who have seen Williams miss 44 games this season with knee and hamstring injuries. When he is on the court, like he was Friday night, the difference in Boston’s offensive and defensive processes are night and day.
Williams put together the odd statline of four points, eight rebounds, three steals and three blocks against Indiana, which is exactly what the Celtics need out of the big man.
The defensive intensity lacks without Williams, who at his best is one of the premier rim protectors in the NBA.
The Celtics’ plan to keep Williams healthy appears to involve bringing him off the bench. The good news? He doesn’t seem to mind. The better news? That allows Boston to give Derrick White major minutes as he continues to blossom as an offensive contributor.
With just eight games to go before the postseason, now is the final tune up period for Boston to prepare for what it hopes to be another long and fruitful playoff run.