Celtics

Williams was given 8 to 12 weeks to return to basketball.

Robert Williams has yet to play this season. Photo: Adam Glanzman / Getty Images

When Robert Williams underwent arthroscopic knee surgery in late September, there was pessimism about the date of his return as the schedule for his return had been postponed from 4 to 6 weeks to 8 to 12 weeks.

However, Williams stays on schedule to return to basketball classes in an 8-12 week period, Boston Globe Adam Himmelsbach reported. This does not necessarily mean Williams will be playing matches within 12 weeks as the timeline relates to a return to basketball, but it has been six weeks on Friday since he underwent surgery.

Williams reportedly also received a platelet-rich plasma injection into his left knee, the same knee where he suffered a meniscus tear last season, on October 17.

The Celtics are sure to be delighted to learn that Williams are continuing their comeback on schedule as their defense was not as strong in the young season as in the previous season when they were the best unit in the league. Boston, with a defensive rating of 114.1, is in 20th place in the league in the first eight games of the season.

Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla noted that his side had made some progress on the defensive ahead of Friday’s game against the Bulls, despite an average defensive rating for the season opening. The Celtics had a defensive rating of 100.5 between winning over the Wizards on Sunday and defeating the Cavaliers on Wednesday, which is better than a defensive rating of 106.2 from the previous season.

“By the way, we are number one in defense, [in the] the last two games, Mazzulla said playfully. – Nobody asked that.

The Celtics’ defense retreated somewhat on Friday, however, in their 123-119 win against the Bulls, earning a defense index of 113.9 in that game, while Chicago fired 51.8 percent of their shots from the field.

Even so, Mazzulla pleaded for a little patience so that the defense could progress as the season progressed.

“Defense is something that comes with time,” said Mazzulla. “I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, it’s not a question of effort. Our people play very, very hard and they want to win. It’s a matter of getting back into habits. Standards are restored. There are also times where we’re not great at defense, when we let go of the line a bit, but I love the steps we’ve taken in the last two or three games.

The patience Mazzulla asked for can only be a signal to wait for Williams to return to action. The middle was second in blocks per game last season (2.2), fourth on plus / minus (3.1) and first on defense (102.4). The big players who saw a few minutes possibly as a result of Williams’ injury (Noah Vonleh, Blake Griffin and Luke Kornet) actually have the top three individual defensive ratings with the Celtics for the first eight games (Vonleh 110, Griffin 111). , Kornet 111). Al Horford, who ran alongside Williams in a double squad, has a 116 defensive rating this season, the third lowest among regular Celtics rotation (Marcus Smart and Malcolm Brogdon are lower).

Boston will appear in court again Saturday night as he faces the Knicks in New York City. There will be no Horford in the Celtics struggling with a stiff back after Friday’s win.

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