Grant Williams recently found out he had been snubbed for the NBA’s Teammate of the Year award, with Jrue Holiday of the Milwaukee Bucks being selected as this year’s winner.
The Boston Celtics locker room is united and continually preaches about the importance of having each other’s backs, both on and off the court. So, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, that Jaylen Brown took to social media to air his disapproval at his teammate being overlooked for some individual recognition.
Williams is widely known to be the jovial character within the Celtics locker room and is often credited with arranging team bonding activities such as board game nights, meals out, or even a game of cards on the team flight between games.
Throughout this current season, Williams has also grown into more of a leader on the court, and can regularly be seen barking out coverages when on defense or leading the bench unit to fire up the team. It’s those types of moments that have seen Williams’ voice become a respected one throughout the franchise, even if he does sometimes say some silly stuff – such as referring to himself as Batman following his performance against the Denver Nuggets earlier this season.
Williams is Having a Breakout Season
As a sophomore, Williams struggled to prove his ability on both ends of the floor. Often utilized as a small-ball five, the Tennessee product was consistently outmatched, outmuscled, and outworked.
However, throughout this past summer, Williams worked on his fitness, dropped weight, and reaped the benefits in a more perimeter-based role. Suddenly, Williams is an integral cog in the Celtics system, utilizing his improved three-point shooting to offer floor spacing for the team’s stars, and proving himself as one of the better defenders off the bench.
In their most recent playoff series against the Brooklyn Nets, the Celtics used Williams as a “Kevin Durant” stopper, and the third-year combo-big rose to the task, limiting him to just 18 points on 24% shooting from the field and 0% shooting from deep during the 68.2 partial possessions the pair match up over four games.
Celtics to Face Milwaukee in Second Round
After the Celtics made light work of the Nets in their first-round playoff series, the team faced an anxious wait to see who their opponent would be in the second round. The options were clear, it was either going to be the Milwaukee Bucks or the Chicago Bulls.
But, on Wednesday, April 27, the Bucks closed out their series, winning in five games. Now, the reigning NBA champions, minus Khris Middleton, will face off against the Celtics, with the first game of the series scheduled for Sunday, May 1 at the TD Garden.
Boston will head into this series as the favorites to progress but will have to be at their best to overcome a well-coached and talented Bucks team. Furthermore, Giannis Antetokounmpo has been on a tear recently and is averaging 28.6 points, 13.4 rebounds, and 6.2 assists per game in the playoffs – which means Williams, and the rest of the Celtics roster will need to be at their defensive best if they want to shut him down.
Of course, without Middleton, the Bucks lack an elite scoring outlet to ease the pressure on Giannis when the defense collapses on him, and that should be a huge relief to the Celtics, as the injured Bucks star regularly gets hot against the team. Now all that’s left is to see who is going to match up with who, and Boston plans to stop the most physically dominant player in the NBA, luckily, we won’t have to wait long for those answers.