Celtics lose major defensive piece just before the playoffs start

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Boston Celtics center Robert Williams will be out for several weeks with a meniscus tear, making it more difficult for Boston to hold the No. 1 spot.

A 134-112 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves cemented two things for the Boston Celtics: that this was the No. 1 team in the Eastern Conference, and that the Celtics had the best-ranked defense in the NBA. With one injury, all of that could be at risk as the Celtics advance to the playoffs.

During their March 27 win, Celtics center Robert Williams appeared to suffer a knee sprain, although Williams still went on to score 8 of 13 shots, which led fans to believe that the sprain was nothing major.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski, MRI scans on March 28 confirm that Williams suffered a meniscus tear and will miss several weeks at the least. Wojnarowski also provided context as to how this affects Boston, who is technically leading the Eastern Conference despite a tied 47-28 record with the Miami Heat.

Boston has been on a wild winning streak, winning 24 of their last 28 games this season. Without Williams, the Celtics are all but guaranteed to lose their No. 1 seeding as they compete with the Heat, the Milwaukee Bucks and the Philadelphia 76ers, who are all tied with 28 losses each.

Boston Celtics experience bad luck with Rob Williams knee injury

Although March famously celebrates the “luck of the Irish” during St. Patricks Day, the Celtics are notoriously unlucky when it comes to injury the past five years.

One Twitter user replied to Wojnarowski with the following observation: Boston has experienced a significant loss due to injury every season since 2018.

  • 2018: Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward were injured
  • 2019: Gordon Hayward was still injured
  • 2020: Kemba Walker was injured
  • 2021: Jaylen Brown and Kemba Walker were injured
  • 2022: Robert Williams is injured

Without Williams, it seems that “Grant Williams is the most likely candidate to slide into the starting lineup alongside Al Horford,” according to Lance Legere for FanSided’s Hoops Habit.

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