Celtics’ Robert Williams was reportedly playing through stomach virus during Game 7 against the Heat

"That’s a guy the Celtics have depended on a lot over the course of the last couple of years.”

Boston Celtics center Robert Williams III (44) looks up during Game 4 of the NBA basketball playoffs Eastern Conference finals against the Miami Heat, Tuesday, May 23, 2023, in Miami.
Robert Williams was reportedly sidelined with a stomach bug during Game 7. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

Whether it was Jayson Tatum’s ankle or Malcolm Brogdon’s elbow, it was clear that the Celtics were far from 100 percent during their Game 7 loss to the Miami Heat on Monday night.

But Tatum and Brogdon reportedly weren’t the only regulars in Boston’s lineup that were hampered in a do-or-die Game 7.

According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, Celtics big man Robert Williams was also dealing with a stomach virus on Monday that limited him to just 14 minutes. 

“Robert Williams was throwing up during the game,” Charania said on Stadium’s NBA Finals preview show “He only played 14 minutes last night. He was coming in and coming out of the game. When he would come out, he would throw up. He was dealing with a stomach virus, a stomach bug that he played through it.


“He was sick yesterday, he was sick going into today. Only played 14 minutes. That’s a guy the Celtics have depended on a lot over the course of the last couple of years.”

Williams made the most of his reps when he was on the parquet floor. He posted eight points and hauled in six rebounds off the bench, converting on four of his five shot attempts.

He did leave to go to the locker room during the second quarter, but returned later in the contest.

Williams’ reported illness was the final bit of bad luck that plagued the 25-year-old center throughout the 2022-23 season.

A key cog in Boston’s stingy defense during the 2021-22 season, Williams was sidelined just before the start of the New Year due to knee surgery — the second procedure on the knee in the span of just seven months.

Williams was eventually cleared to return on Dec. 16, but his usage was curtailed as Boston looked to keep him healthy for a promising playoff run. In his 35 regular-season games, Williams averaged 8.0 points and 8.3 rebounds over 23.5 minutes per contest.

In the postseason, Williams averaged just 20.9 minutes over 20 games.


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