Celtics

Ime Udoka shared the latest on the return of Robert Williams ahead of Game 3

He said Williams has "cleared every benchmark."

Robert Williams has had a dynamic season. Maddie Malhotra/Getty Images

If Robert Williams does return to action in Game 3 of the Celtics-Nets series Saturday night, he’ll be capped at about 20 minutes per head coach Ime Udoka.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Williams “intends to play” Saturday for the first time since March 27, but Udoka didn’t officially say he’ll do so.

Udoka did note that Williams, who is officially listed as questionable (left knee meniscal tear), has “cleared every benchmark.”

“I like where he’s at right now and will reevaluate throughout the day to see how he feels,” Udoka told reporters Saturday morning.

He said it’s possible the Celtics could bring him off the bench in the short term to ease him back.

Udoka said Williams looks as athletic as he usually does and that there’s “minimal concern” about him readjusting in a tough playoff series after a lengthy absence. The plan is to have him go through a standard pre-game workout to determine if he’s ready for Game 3.

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He said Williams provides “a ton of versatility” and makes the Celtics elite defensively. Grant Williams and Marcus Smart added that Williams “looks great,” and Smart shared that he’s moving well and is “the Rob we used to know.”

“They just add a player that’s exceptional at protecting the basket and blocking shots,” Nets coach Steve Nash told reporters on Williams’s return.

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