The Boston Celtics were only expected to be without Evan Fournier ahead of their Thursday night contest against the Los Angeles Lakers.
Unfortunately, they were dealt a last-minute wild card as they so often have been this season. As a result, they are going to be without Robert Williams on Thursday.
According to Brad Stevens, Williams is dealing with a calf injury, but the good news is that it's not expected to be a long-term issue.
The Celtics will still miss Williams against the Lakers. He has averaged 10.1 points, 9.1 rebounds, and 2.0 blocks per game in 10 games since being inserted into the starting lineup, so his production won't be easy to replicate.
Fortunately, Tristan Thompson is available to replace him. Thompson has averaged 7.9 points and 8.2 rebounds per game this season while making 31 starts. He's not the same sort of imposing shot-blocker and interior scorer that Williams is, but his impact on the glass has helped the Celtics in recent games.
Behind Thompson, expect to see some combination of Luke Kornet, Moritz Wagner, and Tacko Fall get minutes to fill in for Williams. Kornet, who has averaged 5.0 points and 3.5 rebounds in six games for the C's, figures to get the first crack off the bench.
While Boston will miss Williams, they are taking on a shorthanded Los Angeles team. The Lakers will be without Anthony Davis (calf) and LeBron James (ankle) in this contest, so their absences will certainly help to diminish the impact of Williams' unavailability.