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The Boston Celtics have the best record in the NBA, but they could be even better. 

The Celtics have a league-best 13-3 record to go along with a league-high nine-game winning streak heading into their Monday night showdown with the Chicago Bulls. While this all is impressive in itself, they have done without one of their starters and defensive anchors in Robert Williams.

Williams tore the meniscus in his knee in March and after missing some time, returned during the Celtics' playoff run to the NBA Finals but clearly was hobbled. The knee continued to give Williams trouble and so he underwent surgery in late September to remedy the ongoing issue and was given an 8-to-12 week timeline for a return. 

At this point in the season, it has been just over eight weeks and now Williams' return sounds like it's imminent. While he isn't fully practicing at the moment, the big man has returned to action in some capacity and even now is playing three-on-three, according to the Boston Globe's Adam Himmelsbach. 

“We’re happy with him as far as his progression and the work he’s put in toward coming back,” Boston head coach Joe Mazzulla said to Himmelsbach. “He’s picking it up on the court a little bit. He looks good. He’s healthy and responding well to it. He’s in a good space as far as patience, and he’s doing the work he needs to do.” 

It sounds like it will still be a little bit before Williams returns to game action, but this is an extremely positive update for the Celtics. Once Williams returns, immediately gives the team significantly better rim protection and extra options on the offensive end. 

The Celtics already have been the best team in the NBA so far this season, and they are just scratching the potential of what they can be. 

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Further Reading

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1:1 with Orthopedic Surgeon, Dr. Derek Ochiai, on Robert Williams' Knee Procedures, Recovery, and Long-Term Outlook

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Here's What Stood Out in Celtics' Win vs. Hawks: Largely Contained to the Mid-Range, Atlanta Can't Keep Pace with Boston

The Top 5 Plays in Wednesday's Celtics-Hawks Game

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