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Did the Boston Celtics break Robert Williams III by playing him in their extended playoff run last season?

The Celtics decision to play Williams at less than 100 percent health made sense, but it may have already begun to hurt them in their quest to make it back to the Finals this season
Did the Boston Celtics break Robert Williams III by playing him in their extended playoff run last season?

The amount of effort Celtics put into their playoff run last season may be coming back to bite them already this season.

The Boston Celtics believe that, even after their deep playoff run last season, they have a great shot at not just making it back to the NBA Finals but winning it this time around. They sacrificed a lot to make it that far last season, and it nearly paid off. But they ended up falling short against the Golden State Warriors, and the amount of effort they put into their playoff run last season may be coming back to bite them already this season.

Robert Williams III will miss the start of the 2022-23 season after undergoing surgery on his left knee

Robert Williams III battled his way through the 2022 NBA playoffs despite being far from 100 percent, and he very nearly helped the Celtics win a title. Williams had been dealing with a bothersome left knee injury since the end of the 2021-22 regular season and has opted to get surgery to address it right before the 2022-23 season after waiting the entire offseason to do so. Williams will now miss the start of Boston's season as he recovers from the injury, which is a tough blow for the Celtics.

Williams left knee had been in rough shape after he rushed back from a torn meniscus early in Boston's playoff run, and he had to continue to manage it throughout the postseason. The Celtics ensured Williams that his knee wouldn't get any more injured if he continued to play, but it appears that may not have been the case if Williams now has to get surgery to address his knee. Here's what Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports said about the injury back in June when the Celtics were still battling the Warriors in the Finals.

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"I was really having my knee drained a lot last series," Williams III confirmed to Yahoo Sports. "I stopped draining it because there was no point, in my opinion. My knee kept filling back up with fluid. So, I've kind of learned how to manage it to be able to play." The medical staff has ensured him that he is not at further risk of worsening the repaired knee. It's all a matter of pain tolerance." - Chris Haynes, Yahoo Sports

Did the Celtics make the right call with Williams III in the playoffs last season?

This is interesting to look at in retrospect because now Williams needs surgery to address his left knee issue. The Celtics' medical staff said things couldn't get worse, and while that may be the case, it's clear that Williams' knee hasn't gotten any better if he requires surgery to fix things up before the start of the season.

There are a lot of unknowns in between the lines here, but it's fair to wonder if the Celtics made the right decision to play Williams during the playoffs when he was clearly at less than 100 percent health. The hope was that the time off this offseason would allow Williams to return to court at full health for the start of the season, but that isn't going to be the case.

While the Celtics and Williams believe that it's best to get this surgery out of the way at the beginning of the season rather than the end, it's certainly concerning that Williams' left knee is still bothering him. In a perfect world, he gets this surgery and feels great, but what if that doesn't happen? The Celtics were going to do whatever they could to win a championship last season, but there's a chance it may have cost them the health of one of their best players.

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