Celtics Notebook: Rob Williams out with knee soreness

The Celtics have been holding back players all year over health concerns, and Rob Williams has another to add to the list.

The center missed Thursday night’s game against the Lakers with what was described as left knee soreness and swelling.

Brad Stevens said there was “a little” swelling in the back of Williams’ knee, and that he’ll be tested back in Boston.

“They don’t think it’s anything more than day-to-day but gonna make sure. But he’s out,” said the Celtics coach..

The Lakers also had their injury troubles Thursday, as Andre Drummond (toe) and Markieff Morris (ankle) were both out.


The Lakers welcomed fans for the first time this season, and as far as Stevens is concerned, that’s the way it should be for any Celtics/Lakers game.

“These games are always highly intense, the way it should be,” he said. “This is the first game the Lakers will have fans, and I’m glad, because the game in Boston was eerie. We played in front of nobody.

“I think we played 75 games before we had fans back in Boston, whether it was the in the bubble or at home, but there was one that stood out above all others, and how eerie it felt, and that was the Lakers game,” said Stevens. “This thing was meant for people to be here, and I have a great deal of respect for who they have on their team that are playing, how they’ve been playing regardless of who is available, how they’re coached, and certainly the tradition of the rivalry. Everybody understands what’s in play in that.”

Smart back in form

Marcus Smart, who missed a significant chunk of time this season with a torn calf muscle, is aware of the view that he had slipped. The Celtics guard is intent on reminding people of his value. His oft-electric defensive presence in Denver and Portland nailed down both wins.

“Just getting started to getting back to where I was, proving to people and letting people know not to forget who I am on that defensive end and what I do,” he said. “Being a two-time defensive first team. So I’ve heard it. I heard the talks about me not being able to — the injury probably affecting me, I lost a step, all kinds of things, and it is what it is. I know what I can do, my teammates know what I can do, the league knows what I can do, and that’s just extra motivation for me to go out there and prove it.

“Just go out there and be me,” said Smart. “I know I’m a great player, just go out there and continue to be that great player no matter what. Not for me, but for this team. For this team to be great, I have to be me on both ends of the floor. I have to be that defensive stopper that I know I am. I have to be that floor general on the offensive end. I have to take those open shots, make those open shots and be able to create for others and knock down and make plays. For me to be that and do that, it’s only going to help this team.”

Smart believes that accountability is also ruling the day.

“I think you can see the difference. We’re all holding each other accountable — everybody on both ends of the floor,” he said. “Just trying to play basketball the right way. Give ourselves a chance. It comes down to defense. We’re not going to always score the ball very well every night, so we have to be able to go down and get some stops, especially in crunch time. So for us to be able to hold each other accountable, and it starts with me – being the defensive leader on this team, being one of the leaders on this team, guys see me holding my own self accountable, it should be no excuse for anybody else.”

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