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NBA

Celtics’ Marcus Smart and Robert Williams aren’t 100% but they’re ‘ready to go’

If Boston hopes to get the better of Golden State, it will most definitely require that the duo is not only on the court, but fully fit.

Paul Rudder
Update:
The Celtics' Robert Williams III and Marcus Smart have both been listed as questionable for Game 1 of the 2022 NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors.
Brian BabineauNBAE via Getty Images

As they head into Game 1 of the NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors the Celtics appear to be limping a little. With both Marcus Smart and Robert Williams dealing with injuries, it’s now a race against the clock.

Celtics sweat on Robert Williams ahead of Game 1 vs Warriors

In recent weeks the Boston Celtics have been forced to cope with varying injury problems, but perhaps the two most significant in terms of their hopes for a title are those that affect Marcus Smart and Robert Williams, both of whom have been listed as ‘questionable.’ Interestingly the pair have said they will be ready for the opening game of their series with the Golden State Warriors at the Chase Center on Thursday night. “It’s manageable,” Williams said when speaking of the knee soreness that he has suffered since the Eastern Conference semifinals. “Kind of been getting in a routine the past couple games, what I have to go through to have myself ready to play.”

It should be said that Williams’ specific injury is the result of a bone bruise in the left, which is in fact the same knee that he had surgery on to repair his meniscus in late March. As a result the Celtics’ center was forced to miss the last three games of his team’s Conference semifinal clash with the Milwaukee bucks as well as Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Miami Heat. Eventually, Williams saw his minutes reduced which now seems to have been the right choice and the man himself agrees. “Yeah, I feel like the reduced minutes helps obviously because with the injury I had, you know, not being able to take the time off, being such an important part of the season, the minute reduction definitely helped.” Incidentally Williams has officially been listed as ‘questionable’ for Game 1 of the NBA Finals.

There is also a Marcus Smart headache for the Celtics

As the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year, Marcus Smart is an essential cog in the wheel for the Celtics. Suffice to say, the fact that he’s been coping with multiple issues in his right leg is not ideal for the team. Smart has had to push through both a quad and foot injury, but it’s his ankle that is the true concern. Visibly hindered during the Conference Finals, Smart struggled throughout before finally showing up in Game 7 to help the Celtics advance to the finals with a 24 point performance. Where the team is concerned, Celtics coach Ime Udoka has stated that Smart will be ready and Smart himself has declared that if he plays there will be no excuses.

“The ankle was a pretty serious injury,” Smart said. “I’m thankful to be able to play, let alone still be walking. It hurt, but my mom always told me, if you are going to be on the court, you can’t make excuses. If you’re hurt, then sit your tail down. If I’m going to be out there, no matter how much pain I’m in, I can’t let it affect me.”

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