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Robert Williams ruled out against the Lakers with left knee soreness

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Bad time to have questionable big man depth.

NBA: Boston Celtics at Portland Trail Blazers Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

UPDATED: Robert Williams has now been ruled out with left knee soreness. Per Brad Stevens, Williams has swelling above his calf and behind his knee, but he’s considered day-to-day. Tristan Thompson will get the start instead.

The Boston Celtics may or may not be shorthanded tonight against their all-time rivals, the Los Angeles Lakers. Robert Williams III is dealing with left knee soreness, and he’s now questionable ahead of tonight’s 10 pm tip.

The Celtics are 9-1 with Robert Williams in the starting lineup since the trade deadline when Daniel Theis was shipped off to Chicago. The last time Williams missed time, Tristan Thompson was out, which led to a tough loss against the Dallas Mavericks with only Grant Williams and Luke Kornet as Boston’s relatively reliable options at the center position.

With the return of Tristan Thompson into the lineup, the Celtics are at least a little better positioned to withstand a potential Rob absence. Even without Anthony Davis and LeBron James tonight, the Lakers are pretty big up front between Montrezl Harrell, Andre Drummond and Mark Gasol. Having Robert Williams isn’t a necessity for the hot Celtics to take down the depleted Lakers, but it’ll certainly help.

Williams is averaging 8.2 points and 7.0 rebounds on 72% shooting from the field this season. The Celtics will take on the Lakers tonight at 10 pm EST on TNT.