Celtics big man suffered bone bruise on this Game 3 play

Robert Williams suffered injury setback on this play in Game 3 originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Celtics big man Robert Williams missed Games 4 and 5 of Boston’s Eastern Conference semifinals series against the Milwaukee Bucks with lingering left knee soreness, but it was more than just the usual wear and tear that caused his pain.

Celtics head coach Ime Udoka revealed Friday that Williams suffered a minor bone bruise in his surgically-repaired left knee after a collision with Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo in last Saturday’s Game 3.

While tests revealed no structural damage in Williams’ knee, the collision did cause swelling and soreness that forced Williams to sit out Games 4 and 5 and has him listed as questionable for Friday’s Game 6.

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The play that caused Williams’ injury occurred in the second quarter of Game 3 in Milwaukee and resulted in a blocking foul on Williams, whose attempt to draw a charge on Antetokounmpo was unsuccessful.

That play is a microcosm of an incredibly physical series to date. Antetokounmpo’s frequent drives to the basket have often resulted in hard contact, and while the Celtics have held up relatively well against the two-time NBA MVP, they’ve taken their fair share of big blows.

The Celtics need a win Friday night in Milwaukee to keep their season alive, and Williams’ presence would certainly help: The Bucks dominated the boards in Game 5, racking up 17 offensive rebounds to Boston’s five and essentially winning the game on a Bobby Portis rebound-and-layup.

Udoka said Thursday that the swelling in Williams’ knee is gone but that he was still experiencing soreness. So, Time Lord might be a game-time decision in a win-or-go-home Game 6.

NBC Sports Boston’s coverage of Game 6 begins at 6:30 p.m. ET with “Celtics Pregame Live” ahead of 7:30 p.m. ET tip-off.


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