Boston Celtics

Celtics Rumors: ‘There's Optimism' Robert Williams Will Be Ready for Game 5

Report: 'There's optimism' Robert Williams will be ready for Game 5 vs. Heat originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The Boston Celtics are a much different team when Robert Williams plays, and it sounds like there's a decent chance the talented center will be ready to go in the pivotal Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Miami Heat.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported a few hours before tipoff Wednesday evening that Williams will test his knee before the game, but "there's optimism" he'll be OK to play.

Celtics head coach Ime Udoka told reporters earlier Thursday that Williams is "pretty much day-to-day the rest of the playoffs, so it's something we have to manage and work around."

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Williams is one of the best defensive players in the NBA. The Celtics are 2-1 in the series when Williams plays, and they have outscored the Heat by 33 in his 68 minutes of action over three appearances. The Heat have outscored the Celtics by five in the 124 minutes he hasn't played in this series.

Williams' interior defense, shot blocking, rebounding and communication on defense play vital roles in the team's success. After missing Game 3 with knee soreness, Williams returned for Game 4 and scored 12 points with nine rebounds and two blocks in 19 minutes. The C's cruised to a 102-82 win to even the series. 

Celtics guard Marcus Smart, who missed Game 4 with an ankle injury, is listed as questionable on the Game 5 injury report.

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