The Boston Celtics were able to steal a win on the road vs. the Golden State Warriors in Game 1 of the NBA Finals and big-man Robert Williams III was a solid contributor in the limited minutes he played, finishing with 8 points, 6 rebounds, and an impressive 4 blocks in just 24 minutes. However, anyone watching him on the court can see he is very clearly not playing at 100% and likely won't be until the Finals conclude, as our Pro Basketball Docs alluded to on our latest podcast.
Williams III is currently sporting a SIC score of 74 as he's still dealing with a lateral meniscus tear suffered in late March which saw him return to play in the first-round series vs. the Brooklyn Nets. Williams also sustained a bone bruise in the ultra-physical second-round series vs. Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks.
The Celtics currently have Williams listed on the injury report as questionable as they have for the majority of the playoffs. The C's will likely continue to keep him on a minutes restriction, right around the 20-25 minute mark as the Texas A&M alum at 75-80% is still an extremely effective defensive presence and rebounder.
Look for the Celtics to lean more on veteran Al Horford in this series as his playstyle does fit better in this matchup vs. the high-powered perimeter-heavy Warriors and for Williams III to play effectively in spurts but not play extended minutes in Game 2 and beyond.