Boston Celtics center Robert Williams III, who hasn't played since having meniscus surgery on his left knee March 30, intends to play limited minutes in Game 3 vs. Brooklyn and then escalate his minutes in Game 4, sources told ESPN on Friday.
The plan is contingent on Williams' left knee remaining pain-free prior to Saturday's Game 3, sources said, after consecutive practices of 5-on-5 with the Celtics.
Game 4 of the best-of-seven first-round Eastern Conference playoff series, which the Celtics lead 2-0, is Monday.
Williams has been an immense part of the NBA's best defense and hottest team over the final months of the regular season. He was No. 1 among 169 players who've defended 500-plus shots as the closest defender, per Second Spectrum tracking. Only Williams has held opponents under 40% shooting.
Williams, who signed a four-year, $52 million extension in the offseason, averaged 10.0 points, 9.6 rebounds and 2.2 blocks this season. He has shot 73% from the floor.