The Boston Celtics are going to need everyone to slow down Giannis Antetokounmpo after his 42-point outburst in Game 3, but now one of their key defenders is unexpectedly out for Game 4.
Center Robert Williams will miss the game with knee soreness, the team announced.
Robert Williams (left knee soreness) – OUT
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) May 9, 2022
That is the same knee where Williams had a torn meniscus that required surgery, which caused him to miss part of the regular season and the beginning of the playoffs. Celtics’ coach Ime Udoka said Williams’ knee soreness “came out of nowhere.”
Ime Udoka shares insight on Rob Williams' knee soreness and why they decided to sit him out Game 4 pic.twitter.com/EsEHFBPL9y
— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) May 9, 2022
Grant Williams and Al Horford remain the front-line Boston defenders on Giannis Antetokounmpo, but the Celtics often brought help with Williams. Now that duty falls to Daniel Theis, who struggled to defend the Greek Freek in the minutes earlier this series when Williams was elbowed in the head and had to come out for a stretch.
The bottom line is that Antetokounmpo has looked more and more comfortable against the Celtics’ defense with each passing game, and they need to make him uncomfortable in Game 4. That is tougher to do without Robert Williams.
If Antetokounmpo has a big game and the Bucks win to go up 3-1 in this series, it becomes nearly impossible to see how the Celtics win three straight to come back and advance.