NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-76ers starts at 6:30pm Wednesday with Celtics Pregame Live, and then Mike & Scal have the call of the game at 7:30pm.
BOSTON — Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens said the team is hoping that second-year big man Robert Williams will be cleared to play in Wednesday’s season-opener against the Philadelphia 76ers.
Williams has been navigating the NBA’s return-to-play protocol after displaying concussion-like symptoms after getting elbowed in the head during Boston’s preseason finale in Cleveland.
“Rob, it sounds like will be clear for [Wednesday],” said Stevens. “I don’t have that official but he went through everything without issues.”
Stevens noted the team didn’t do any live contact Tuesday but it appeared Williams could be cleared if he had no setbacks.
One day after missing practice due to illness, Gordon Hayward was back on the court for Boston’s morning workout before the team flew to Philadelphia. Rookie Romeo Langford was ruled out for Wednesday’s opener while still working his way back from a knee sprain suffered in the preseason.
Stevens also noted that two-way player Tacko Fall “went most of practice,” and is navigating his way back through the return-to-play protocol after suffering concussion symptoms as well after a freak accident last week.
One thing Stevens wouldn’t divulge is how the Celtics will match up against the Sixers and their size-filled frontline.
“I guess we could start three of our 7-footers but I don’t know if we’re going to do that,” said Stevens. "We’ll see. We’re not going to be as big as them no matter who we put on the court so we’re not going to adjust that much. We may make small tweaks and adjustments but this is about getting ready for an 82-game season. I think, ultimately, you’re trying to be the best version of yourself. And if we’re smaller in certain areas we’re going to have to be well-spaced and use our speed.”
For the second straight day, Stevens gushed about the Sixers and their potential this season.
"I don’t know that there’s a more talented basketball team in the NBA,” said Stevens. "I think we’re all excited [for the challenge]. As we all talked about in film, we’re getting ready to embark on a long, long journey. Whatever happens over the first week, two weeks, months, different weeks go by, we can’t overreact good or bad. Getting a chance to compete at a high level, we know [Wednesday] night is a great opportunity to play a really good team.”
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