Robert Williams III was a revelation for the Boston Celtics in the 2021-22 campaign. The “Timelord” anchored what was the best defense in the league in 2022 as he made it a no-fly zone over the rim for opposing players. He looked on his way to perhaps even winning Defensive Player of the Year, but a knee injury late in the season meant he was out of the running for the award.
Williams would return in time for the playoffs, but he was hampered by his knee for the entirety of the postseason and missed a couple of games as well. Despite not being 100% healthy, he was still a major factor in the games and that was the case in the Finals as well. A Reddit user u/NitroXYZ pointed out that despite the Celtics being outscored by 24 points over the 6 games, Williams ended the series as a +30.
The difference is especially noteworthy in the last 3 games of the Finals, as Williams was a combined +15 in them despite the Celtics suffering double-digit defeats on all 3 occasions. He routinely altered shots throughout the series and you have to wonder how differently things might have panned out if he was able to stay on the court for longer as he averaged under 30 minutes per game.
The Celtics’ medical staff gave him assurances that playing injured shouldn’t cause more harm to his repaired knee and we sure hope that is the case. Isaiah Thomas had something similar happen to him during his time with the team and him playing through the injury on their advice ended up ruining his career. IT tweeted out that he had heard that before in response to Williams saying that the medical staff had given him assurances and we pray Robert doesn’t end up going down the same road as Thomas, unfortunately did.