Boston held practice on Saturday and afterward, Ime Udoka and multiple players spoke to the media before facing the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 1 tomorrow afternoon and delivered some important injury updates that will have major effects on the Celtics’ second-round series.
First and foremost, Udoka discussed Robert Williams, who returned from a torn meniscus in Game 3 of Boston’s first-round matchup against the Nets. He said that Williams has been working harder than anyone else in order to get back into tip-top shape:
He’s been doing more than the other guys, with that time that he missed. But we had a good hard one on Thursday, so he got a good amount of scrimmaging in there, but he’s getting some extra work as well.
Williams appeared in Games 3 and 4 in the first round, logging 15.5 minutes per game on a minutes restriction. He averaged 2.5 points and 3.5 rebounds coming off the bench with Daniel Theis remained in the starting lineup upon his initial return.
Robert Williams looking spry to finish practice, throwing down a few dunks and passes with his fellow big men. pic.twitter.com/QxhDQuqJVO— Celtics on CLNS (@CelticsCLNS) April 30, 2022
Udoka also provided an update on Jaylen Brown, who has been dealing with a hamstring issue. He said that Brown is “doing well” and that things are “pointing in the right direction.” Brown said that he’s “ready to roll” for Game 1. When asked about whether or not he’ll have any limitations, he stated that, while it’s important to be cautious, he should be good to go:
I’m good. I went through some tests this week, got some treatment. Should be ready to roll for tomorrow.
Anytime you’re dealing with a lingering injury you want to be more cautious and careful, but I think I’m okay.
Jaylen Brown getting in a little work on that hamstring. pic.twitter.com/2FzLS8co9c— Jay King (@ByJayKing) April 30, 2022
The 25-year-old was essential to Boston’s success in Round 1, playing 38.8 minutes per contest, which ranked second on the Celtics to only Jayson Tatum. He averaged 22.5 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.3 assists, and 2.5 steals while shooting 49.3 percent from the field and 21.1 percent from behind the three-point line.
Brown was particularly crucial in the fourth quarter, where he averaged 8.5 points on a blistering-hot 60.9 percent shooting, which included 57.1 percent from deep. Against the Nets, he led the Celtics in scoring in the final frame.
Perhaps the biggest surprise of Saturday’s practice, however, was the wrap that was seen on big man Al Horford’s left hand. Horford’s thumb was taped up during practice, but Udoka quickly put any concerns to rest:
It’s his off-hand... Nothing more than the common nicks and bangs and bruises from the playoffs.
Al Horford has a wrap on his thumb at Celtics practice pic.twitter.com/x7QP4HRLdo— Jared Weiss (@JaredWeissNBA) April 30, 2022
There have been no other reports of injuries heading into Boston’s Game 1 matchup against the Bucks. And based on today’s updates, it’s looking like all three of Williams, Brown, and Horford will be available for the first game of the series.
Game 1 will be on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. at TD Garden. The game can be streamed on ABC.