The Boston Celtics have plenty to be thankful for with their league-best 14-4 record, but they might be even more grateful around Christmas time.

On Wednesday night, NBA Insider Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Celtics center Robert Williams III expects to return to play by Christmas. The Boston big had an important knee surgery in September prior to the start of the 2022-23 regular season, in which he has not yet played a game.

This is great news for a Celtics squad that has been on fire offensively, but often lacked the same defensive prowess it had last year. While Timelord hasn’t entered a game since June, head coach Joe Mazzulla believes he’ll fit right in with the rest of the team upon his return.

Via Adam Himmelsbach:

“We started the season building our system on both ends with the full team in mind. So it’ll be a seamless transition because everything we’re doing he has the ability to fit right in & help.”

If Williams can heal up properly by Christmas, the Celtics will surely benefit. Timelord was an NBA All-Defensive Second Teamer last year and their best rim protector. His shot-blocking abilities have been missed so far this year, as the C’s lack a dominant presence in the paint without him.

Additionally, if Williams is able to come back before December 25th, he’ll be ready for a highly-anticipated Christmas matchup with the Milwaukee Bucks. The Bucks are right behind Boston in the Eastern Conference standings, as they hold the second-best record in the league at 12-5. They and the Celtics last met in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, and even though Boston bested its conference foe, many have picked the Bucks to win it all:

With Williams hopefully back for this must-watch game, the Celtics will have a defensive answer for two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo. But more importantly, the C’s will be at full strength, which is a scary sight for the rest of the NBA.