Robert Williams III and Marcus Smart were both questionable for the Boston Celtics after trudging through injuries throughout the Eastern Conference Finals series against the Miami Heat, but for a potential closeout game tonight, the Celtics will be at full availability (besides Sam Hauser) while the Heat continue to deal with injuries.
Marcus Smart and Rob Williams are both available for Game 6, per the Celtics.— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) May 27, 2022
Smart and Williams were both ruled as questionable yesterday and then game-time decisions after shootaround and in pregame availability. For the Miami Heat, Tyler Herro has been ruled out of Game 6 with a groin injury that’s kept him out of the last three games in a row. All indications are that players such as Kyle Lowry, PJ Tucker and Gabe Vincent – all listed as questionable – will suit up for the Heat.
Jimmy Butler, whose knee has been a huge topic of conversation surrounding this series, wasn’t even listed on the injury report. He’s not making any excuses despite the best efforts of several people with rooting interest in the outcome of this series.
The Celtics have been pretty much dominant as they’ve been healthy this series. They’ve had their full starting lineup in Game 2 as well as Game 4 and Game 5, and those are the three games they’ve won. The two games they’ve lost came without Marcus Smart or without Robert Williams, and those have featured tremendous droughts offensively or porous stretches defensively.
When Robert Williams plays, the Heat have no answer offensively, with his activity stifling pretty much every action they run. He’s been good in pretty much every situation; the only thing holding him back has been his knee health. Williams will remain day-to-day for the rest of the playoffs, but he is now playing in his third straight game, which is encouraging. A week of rest would likely do him good (Marcus Smart and Jayson Tatum as well), which makes closing out this series tonight that much more important.
The Celtics will seek to win the series 4-2 tonight against the Miami Heat on ESPN at 8:30 p.m. ET.