Boston Celtics fans need not expect Robert Williams’ name to be in any piece of overwhelmingly positive injury recovery news regarding the Eastern Conference quarterfinals anytime soon. The NBA’s first round of the postseason will not see the ‘Time Lord’ returning barring something miraculous.
That said, Ime Udoka is more than ready to plot around that. Daniel Theis will likely be absorbing Williams’ minutes in the starting five in order to keep his double-big lineups with Al Horford intact.
What about the closing five, though? Well, Udoka has a plan for that too, according to MassLive’s Brian Robb.
The said plan includes the ‘Jays’ (duh), Marcus Smart, Horford, and Derrick White:
I think that should be the default group depending on the matchup. If Theis or G. Williams have it going a particularly night, I don’t mind them getting a chance over White if he’s struggling with his shot. However, in order to maximize offense, White and Horford are your best options most nights. G. Williams has come up big in spots where maximum defensive versatility is needed in past postseasons so would potentially expect to see him out there as a big against teams that downsize.
Going small is Boston Celtics HC Ime Udoka’s plan in clutch time.
The preeminent attribute one could point out in Ime Udoka’s choice for his final five in clutch time is the emphasis on playmaking. Derrick White doesn’t stretch the floor quite like Grant Williams, but he is a better shot-creator and facilitator. That’ll be important as the game slows down and the court shrinks in the playoffs.
Of course, some matchups will call for having Daniel Theis on the floor. The Cleveland Cavaliers and the Brooklyn Nets, the possible first-round postseason matchups awaiting the Cs following the No. 7-No. 8 NBA Play-in game, are both squads capable of deploying multiple bigs. Ditto for the defending champions, the Milwaukee Bucks, a possible second-round matchup.
But if you were wondering who Boston Celtics HC Ime Udoka had in mind for his closing lineup, there it is.