Grant Williams Details How Celtics Changed Under Joe Mazzulla

Grant Williams

Getty Grant Williams

Former Boston Celtics forward Grant Williams went through three coaches during his four years with the team – Brad Stevens, Ime Udoka, and Joe Mazzulla. Since being signed and traded to the Dallas Mavericks, Williams talked about the difference between Udoka’s approach and Mazzulla’s while talking during his appearance on “The Old Man & The Three With JJ Redick.”

“So I think for Ime, he understood the importance of the defensive end and understanding that if a team scores 80 points, 90 points, no matter how many points we score, we give ourselves a really, really good chance of winning. While I think that Joe has a little bit more offensive, like, ‘If we make 20 threes in the game, we’re gonna win each game because we’ll have enough points because we’re going to have twos and fouls of things to add up.’”

For that reason, Williams believes that the Celtics weren’t quite as good on that end of the floor.

“That’s why I think this past year’s team had a little bit less connectivity on the defensive side of the ball because it wasn’t necessarily the priority or emphasis while the year prior it had been.”

Williams also said that his words weren’t a “knock” on Mazzulla while adding that the difference is simply how he and Udoka coach.

“I just think that different coaches in the league have different philosophies and different ideals, so I think that’s part of the reason why the difference between Ime and Joe in terms of teams,” Williams said.

Grant Williams Admits to ‘Unprofessional’ Behavior

In an interview with Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe, Williams admitted that there was a point in time with the Celtics when he acted unprofessional.

“I had a two-week span of being unprofessional, which I look back on, and I’m disappointed in myself with,” Williams said. “I had to be able to realize that being professional isn’t just about when you’re having success. It’s also about your darkest days.”

Williams then talked about the rapport he has with Mazzulla.

“The thing is, professionally, you can always have different opinions, different outlooks about yourself and the team,” Williams said. “But personally, that bond never changes. I’m going to be there for him and his family and his sons any day that they need me. Personally, I always will love him as a friend. Although it may not have gone how we both expected this season, we still have a ton of respect for one another. So I’ll always speak highly of him because he deserves it. He’s a good man and a good coach.”

Chris Mannix Believes Celtics Are Worse

Chris Mannix of NBC Sports Boston explained why he believes the moves they’ve made have made them worse as a team.

“As of now, mid-July, they’re worse. It really is Kristaps Porzingis for Grant Williams and Marcus Smart. That, to me, is a step back because Marcus Smart, even though he was flawed, you know what he is. Grant Williams, as bad as he was in the second half of the season, he shot 41 percent from 3 in the first half, and I think getting a contract and security would have made him better going into this season,” Mannix said.

Mannix then explained why adding Porzingis could be problematic for the Celtics.

“I’m sorry, he worries me. He does. He had a great year last year, but he was in a contract year playing for a team that went nowhere. Now, he’s going to have the security of a long-term contract playing for a team that needs him to fit into a system to be highly successful. I just have my concerns at how seamless he’s going to fit into this mix.”

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