Celts’ R. Williams available for G7 ‘if needed’


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BOSTON — Robert Williams III will be available for the Boston Celtics on Sunday afternoon in Game 7 of their second-round playoff series against the Milwaukee Bucks, but he may not play his normal minutes — if he plays at all.

Celtics coach Ime Udoka said Williams, who has missed the past three games with left knee soreness, will be used “if needed.”

“He’s available to play,” Udoka said at his pregame news conference. “Hasn’t done a whole lot of basketball activity in the last week. It’s been more so managing the pain. As I mentioned, structurally he’s OK. He’ll be able to go. So he’s available to go. But he won’t start. We’ll go with our normal rotation the last three games with him being out. We’ll use him if needed.”

With Williams out, the Celtics have used Grant Williams in the starting lineup and Daniel Theis as the only big man off the bench.

Without Robert Williams, the Celtics have won two of three, including Game 6 in Milwaukee to force Sunday’s deciding game (3:30 p.m. ET, ABC).

“We’re not relying on him to come back to Game 7 to save the day,” Udoka said. “It’s more so that he’s available and he’s gotten better and improved throughout the week. We’ll still go with our other rotations and use him on a need be basis.”

Williams had surgery to repair the meniscus in his left knee on March 30. Initially, it seemed Williams was ruled out with left knee soreness stemming from his return to play.

However, before Game 6, Udoka revealed that Williams’ absence was due to a small bone bruise, which he suffered in Game 3 after a collision with Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo.

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