Ime Udoka gives updates on Jaylen Brown, Robert Williams, Al Horford ahead of Celtics-Bucks Game 1

All three are expected to play, but each is dealing with an injury.

Matthew J Lee/Globe staff
Ime Udoka gave positive updates on Al Horford and Jaylen Brown before Game 1 of the Celtics' series against the Bucks.

When Game 1 of their Eastern Conference Semifinal series against the Bucks tips off Sunday, the Celtics will have nearly a week’s rest behind them. It looks like they needed that rest, too.

Celtics star Jaylen Brown plus centers Robert Williams and Al Horford are all dealing with injuries. None of them are severe enough to force any of them to miss Sunday’s Game 1. Still, they’re all worth monitoring, and Celtics coach Ime Udoka shed some light on each injury Saturday.

After Celtics president of basketball operations Brad Stevens shared some concern over Brown’s hamstring earlier in the week, Udoka brought some positive news Saturday.


“He’s doing well,” Udoka said. “Looked good yesterday, looked good today. All signs are pointing in the right direction.”

Brown shared that he initially felt some issues with his hamstring in the second half of the Game 4 win over the Nets on Monday. He missed 13 games in November and December due to a right hamstring injury.

Williams, who returned for Game 3 of the series against the Nets after missing nearly four weeks due to a torn meniscus in his left knee, is doing extra work to get his conditioning back on track. After starting in all 61 games he played in during the regular season, Williams came off the bench in Games 3 and 4. He played 16 minutes in Game 3 and 15 minutes in Game 4, down from the 29.6 minutes per game he averaged during the regular season.

Horford was spotted at Saturday’s practice wearing a wrap on his left thumb and hand, but Udoka downplayed it.

“Nothing but the regular nicks and bruises from the playoffs,” Udoka said.

The Celtics were careful about how they used the 35-year-old during the regular season, sitting him in the second game of back-to-backs later in the season. After playing a season-high 42 minutes in the Game 1 win over the Nets, Horford’s minutes actually decreased with each game, playing 26 minutes in Game 4. That’s down 29.1 minutes per game he averaged during the regular season.


Like the Celtics, the Bucks are also fairly well-rested entering Sunday’s Game 1, getting three days off after they finished off their first-round series against the Bulls on Wednesday. However, the Bucks aren’t as healthy as the Celtics. They’re missing All-Star wing Khris Middleton, who is reportedly expected to miss the whole series due to an MCL strain.


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