3 Celtics Role Players Who Must Step Up With Robert Williams Out

Grant Williams #12 of the Boston Celtics celebrates during the third quarter against the Philadelphia 76ers at Wells Fargo Center on February 15, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
(Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

On Monday, it was announced that Boston Celtics center Robert Williams III experienced an injury late in Sunday’s 134-112 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves:

“Shining” is the perfect way to describe Williams’ 2021-22 performance.

The Celtics center may not play another game this season, and it will not help the Celtics’ chances at a title.

Boston is chasing its first championship since 2008, and Boston has had a lot of unlucky injuries the last six years:

Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart, Al Horford, and Williams were going to continue to be a dominating starting lineup.

Smart, the starting point guard for the Celtics — a phrase many would have laughed at one year ago — is the defensive leader for Boston and has been for a long time.

The rise of Williams has been huge for the Celtics, and it has helped Smart command a better defense.

With Williams making players think twice about driving to the hoop, Smart, Tatum, Brown, and others have been able to keep teams from scoring from the perimeter.

They have been stifling offenses and torching defenses, with the bench unit playing well, too.

Boston was performing so well that it did not play in many close games.

However, when the team did, it did not perform well:

This statistic does not bode well for a Celtics team that is sure in need of a pick-me-up.

Which Celtics will fill the void?

Who are the three Celtics role players who must step up with Williams out?

3. Grant Williams

Grant Williams, who has turned into a 3-point machine, ranks seventh in 3-point shooting in the NBA.

This is coming from the man who started his NBA career 0-for-26 from downtown.

Williams was a part of a very successful Celtics ballclub early in his career in 2019.

Boston began that season 10-1.

Prior to Monday’s loss, the Celtics were 10-1 in their previous 11 games.

At the beginning of his career, Williams was close to the end of the bench.

Now, he is the only Celtics bench player with more than six points per game having played more than 20 games with the team this season.

Williams, who scored 17 points and grabbed seven rebounds to go along with two blocks, looks to be ready to step up.

2. Payton Pritchard

Well, just like Grant Williams, Payton Pritchard has turned into a 3-point machine of his own.

Pritchard has entered the top 10 in 3-point shooting.

A lot of what was said about Williams can be said about Pritchard, who is in his second NBA season.

Pritchard saw a decrease in playing time before the Celtics traded away Dennis Schröder and Josh Richardson.

The Celtics should be playing more small ball, so he and his 48 percent 3-point shooting this month should be ready for more minutes.

1. Daniel Theis

The top candidate for more minutes — and more responsibility — is the Celtics’ man-from-the-past Daniel Theis.

Brad Stevens brought back his old big men with acquisitions of Horford and Theis over the last year.

It sure has paid off:

We will have to see if Theis can pick up Robert Williams’ slack.

In his first start with the Celtics this season, Theis put up 13 points and 10 rebounds in 41 minutes.

He also threw down this dunk:

It will not be easy for Theis to try to fill Williams’ shoes, but he will have to try his best.

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