Celtics center Robert Williams III to make season debut vs. Magic

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Boston Celtics center Robert Williams III will make his season debut on Friday against the Orlando Magic. Williams suffered a meniscus injury at the end of the 2021-22 regular season. He is listed as probable on the injury report.

Although he missed the first 29 games this season, the Celtics were in no hurry to rush him back. They lead the Eastern Conference and the NBA with a 22-7 record. The Milwaukee Bucks trail Boston by 1.5 games.

According to a few NBA betting sites, the Celtics are the clear-cut favorite to win the championship in 2023. Some sportsbooks are giving the Golden State Warriors and Bucks the next-best odds.

In 61 starts last season, Williams averaged career highs of 10 points, 9.6 rebounds, 2.0 assists, and 2.2 blocks per game. Also, he shot 73.6% from the field and 72.2% at the foul line.

He amassed 25 double-doubles and one triple-double in those 61 appearances as well. Of course, the Celtics center went on to receive his first NBA All-Defensive Second-Team selection.

Celtics center Robert Williams III is expected to make his season debut against the Magic on Friday

Moreover, in addition to the center logging a career-best true shooting percentage of 74.5%, Williams scored a season-high 21 points in the Celtics’ 111-101 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on December 22, 2021.

During the 2022 Eastern Conference Finals, the fourth-year player averaged playoff highs of 9.2 points and six boards. In Game 1 of Boston’s 118-107 loss against the Miami Heat, Williams scored a playoff-high 18 points in 29 minutes of action.

Equally important, although Boston went on to lose the NBA Finals in six games against the Golden State Warriors, Williams still averaged 7.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 1.5 assists per game. He logged 17 blocks in six games, which boils down to 2. 8 blocks per game.

When the 25-year-old returns, fans are expecting Celtics interim coach Joe Mazzulla to have Williams on a precise minute restriction. He has never played a full season of his professional career, but the Texas A&M product has improved every year.

Heading into Friday night’s matchup against the Magic, the Celtics are heavy 12.5-point favorites. Orlando has lost its last 10 games versus Boston. And the C’s are 10-1 in their past 11 home games.

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