The Boston Celtics will fight for their lives on Thursday night as they enter Game 6 against the Golden State Warriors down 3-2 in the NBA Finals. Perhaps the most important player in that fight is Robert Williams, the team's bouncy All-Defense center. Williams prevents opponents from even attempting shots at the rim and often gets a hand on the ball when they do decide to test him. He can catch any lob on the other end of the floor and is crucial in the fight for rebounds.
But Williams isn't 100 percent. Everybody can see it. He tore his meniscus back in March and underwent surgery. He managed to return during the first round and has played a role in each of the team's series victories, yet more often than not he's hobbling up the floor or limping off it. Williams is day-to-day, like he has been for the last two months, and he recently spoke with Yahoo!'s Chris Haynes on the treatment he's been undergoing. Haynes mentions in the piece that the Celtics' medical staff told Williams that he isn't risking serious future injury by playing on a bum knee and it's all just pain management.
Isaiah Thomas had something to say about that.
Ouch. That should sting for anybody from the Celtics.
If you'll recall, Thomas hurt his hip near the end of his spectacular 2016-17 season and fought through the injury for a few rounds in the playoffs before tapping out in the Eastern Conference Finals. He underwent surgery, got traded to the Cavaliers, and basically fell off the face of the planet because the injury completely sapped his explosiveness. It took Thomas years to get back on the court for anything resembling regular minutes. He's an entirely different player.
From pretty much every angle, the Celtics did Thomas dirty. He carried them to the best record in the East and put up some brilliant playoff performances. Then they ditched him as soon as he got injured. Karmic justice can be seen in the form of the Kyrie Irving debacle that occurred afterwards. Boston did what they had to and sports is a business and all that, but it was cold.
Everyone is hoping that Williams doesn't suffer a similar fate.