Grant Williams ought to see common minutes throughout this Celtics playoff run.
Not simply each infrequently. Not simply towards sure groups. Not simply when different gamers are in foul hassle. Each single evening, in each single state of affairs. He doesn’t must play 30-plus minutes, however he does must play not less than 15 to twenty.
As he confirmed once more Wednesday in Boston’s dominant 121-87, Sport 2 victory over the 76ers, Williams has a knack for contributing to one thing good and turning it into one thing nice.
Williams scored 12 factors on 4 3-pointers, added 4 assists and 4 rebounds and completed plus-22 in 29 environment friendly minutes. He took sensible photographs, didn’t hesitate to make the additional move and helped set the tone defensively every time he noticed Joel Embiid in entrance of him.
“At his finest, he simply brings a stage of physicality and poise to our staff,” Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla stated.
Love this from Mazzulla. Watch him wave to ship Grant Williams sturdy aspect nook (Danny Inexperienced reduce).
It is not an excellent frequent reduce, catches Sixers off guard. Broad open 3. pic.twitter.com/Y7eSndJgCg
— Steph Noh (@StephNoh) Might 4, 2023
Mazzulla additionally famous that the Celtics want Williams to shoot the ball at a excessive clip and never move up open seems. He was aggressive, however not overly aggressive, in Sport 2.
4 of Williams’ eight photographs got here from the nook and 4 from the wing-extended. Mazzulla is all about spacing, and Williams areas the ground at a really excessive stage. When Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Derrick White and Malcolm Brogdon beat their man off the dribble, Williams is commonly the beneficiary.
He has a easy capturing movement and doesn’t overthink it – upfake if a defender’s flying by; fireplace away if he’s open.
On an evening the place Tatum didn’t have it, Williams and Co. had been able to step up.
“It’s what we’ve been saying all yr lengthy,” Brogdon stated. “It’s our power, our depth. Guys like me, Derrick, and Grant enjoying behind our two superstars.”
Williams shot almost 40 p.c from 3 within the common season and is hitting a league-best 64 p.c within the playoffs (9-of-14). There’s sufficient of a pattern dimension to soundly say that when he will get open seems, he’s typically going to make them at a decently excessive clip.
It’s extra than simply his capturing, too. Little performs like this one go a great distance, because the Sixers have to select their poison.
If he had a layup, he would have taken it. As quickly as he sees the double, he makes a fast, sound determination and finds White for 3. Williams simplifies the sport and usually makes the appropriate learn.
His protection was on level as properly. Williams has the flexibility to protect James Harden, Tobias Harris and Embiid. Not many guys within the league can say that. It’s not that he’s going to cease them each time. It’s that he’s able to stopping them in key moments.
At one level through the broadcast, Reggie Miller talked about that the 6-foot-3 or 6-foot-4 Williams was battling a 7-foot-plus Embiid. Possibly he was exaggerating to show some extent, however the 6-foot-6 Williams is a bit taller than Miller gave him credit score for.
Having stated that, he’s giving up six or so inches to the league’s Most Precious Participant and holding his personal. To be clear, Embiid is clearly not 100%, and it was a small pattern dimension, however Williams did present he belongs. Embiid was clearly so afraid of him that he needed to flop to have any shot (simply kidding).
Williams additionally made hustle performs when the Celtics wanted them and set his teammates up for fulfillment.
It’s fairly clear now that Williams has earned his spot within the rotation for this collection. If he retains enjoying like this, he needs to be an everyday all through your entire playoffs.
Possibly Mazzulla was simply enjoying the lengthy sport – figuring out sitting on the bench would irk him and having him save his finest for when it issues most. Both means, Williams is making it awfully tough to maintain him off the courtroom.
He’s somebody Mazzulla ought to belief – totally, and with none apprehension in any respect.