While Williams’ positioning played into the fourth-quarter collapse against Brooklyn — definitively Boston’s worst loss all season — the Celtics outscored Cleveland by 14 points with him on the floor the next night. Brad Stevens increased his workload, and in another game that nearly tilted against Boston late his early production played a key role in the victory.
Many wondered if Williams could become the Celtics’ de facto trade deadline addition. Enes Kanter playing his best basketball since January against Utah and Cleveland doesn’t put Williams in position to play often, nor does his health. As Stevens has said, Williams a matchup center for now who’ll naturally fit a minutes limit while attacking second-unit interiors and providing rim protection.
The early returns on that are mixed, as expected from a player who missed 37 games so early in his NBA development. The Garden Report hit on the impact of his return on Wednesday.
The Garden Report —
On Robert Williams: Williams returned for the first time since Dec. 6 due to a hip injury. Sierra Goodwill, Josue Pavon and Mike Petraglia discussed what Williams could add to this team.
On the collapse against the Brooklyn Nets: The Boston Celtics coughed up a 21-point lead in the second half to lose by nine to the Brooklyn Nets in overtime on Tuesday night. The Celtics allowed an abysmal 51 points in the fourth quarter, including three free throws with 1.4 seconds left in the game to send it to OT.
Player and coach interviews after Brooklyn-Boston — courtesy of CLNS Media
Brad Stevens: “Ridiculous.”
Kemba Walker: “Probably the toughest (loss) of the year.”