Encouraging post-surgery outlook for Shreveporter Robert Williams III

JOURNAL STAFF

North Caddo High School product Robert Williams III has been a vital part of the Boston Celtics’ surge to the top spot in the NBA’s Eastern Conference and despite a knee injury requiring surgery Wednesday, he could return to action in the playoffs.

The Celtics issued a hopeful statement following Williams’ arthroscopic surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee. Team doctors project a recovery requiring no more than 4-6 weeks, a timetable that could have the native Shreveporter back on the court in the second round of the playoffs.

Williams, considered a strong contender for NBA Defensive Player of the Year honors before Sunday’s injury, helped Boston go 24-4 since mid-January and into the conference lead. They’ve since slipped into the No. 2 spot.

The 6-foot-9, 237-pound post player is having a breakout campaign in his fourth NBA season, averaging 10 points and 9.6 rebounds while starting 61 games and playing more minutes (1,804) than he had combined in the three previous seasons. Williams is averaging 2.2 blocked shots and 2.0 assists while shooting 73 percent from the floor. His inside play has keyed the Celtics’ emergence as perhaps the league’s best defensive team.

Williams, an avid supporter of North Caddo High and active during the offseason in local civic endeavors, signed a four-year, $48 million deal during this season to begin for the 2022-23 campaign. The 24-year-old is a top candidate for the NBA’s All-Defensive Team and is in the mix for the Defensive Player of the Year award.