In defense of Grant Williams, the Celtics sidestepped the breakout candidate

Our last photo of Grant Williams didn’t exactly send us desperate summers to see what he’s going to do next.

With the NBA Finals gone, and the Celtics running out of gas en masse like many station wagons during the 1970s oil crisis, Williams had a resurgence. A series that began with his expressive adoration of the Warriors All-Star Draymond Green, and ended with the grizzly veteran first in his ear and then in his head.

Williams complained to officials, made bad mistakes, lost open appearance, forced coach making odokahand. With the entire bench picking a bad time to go into a stalemate, Williams averaged three points and less than 15 minutes into the last three losses.

Celtics spotlight: How Grant Williams can build on a strong Year 3

This led to an off-season mandate to update the supporting cast. He came in the previous rookie position this year Malcolm Brogdon To add playmaking and shot making, but more relevant to Williams, the Celtics have also signed a veteran shooting striker. Danilo Galinari. If C is lucky enough to go back to the finals, they will have someone on the bench who can hold onto a 3.

This plan did not survive even in August. 34-year-old Gallinary He tore up the AFC Champions League while playing for Italy In one of the Basketball World Cup qualifiers, he will surely miss the season. This puts Williams back in the spotlight as the first big man from the Celtics seats, and here’s a question: What if that’s a good thing?

A factor in what she has done recently has been a part of the sporting fan base since Phidippides raced 26.2 miles to deliver the news of winning a marathon in 490 B.C. and then fell dead instantly. (Commentators at the time, most likely: “Quitter”).

Williams is feeling the sting of the novelty bias particularly sharply, as he stumbled at the moment the Celtics desperately needed help for. Jaylyn BrownAnd the Jason TatumAnd the Al Horford. His failures became more evident when combined with the contributions that Warriors received from Andrew Wiggins, Jordan Ball, and Gary Payton Jr., although he was by no means alone.

But judging him in three games, or one series, is missing the bigger picture. Williams may never be Draymond, but the tools are there for a convincing stunt double. Consider how far he went from his rookie year, when he missed his first 25 three-pointers, to last season, when he hit 41.1 percent from distance, mostly in what has become known as the corner office.

And while the playoffs ended poorly, they didn’t include any shortage of highlights, whether it was effectively checking out Kyrie Irving on the Keys versus Nets, going up against Kevin Durant and Giannis Antetokounmpo, or memorably, Dig seven triples in the comma for Game 7 for dollars.

Still 23 years old and entering his fourth season, Williams is the top candidate on the list. There is almost no chance that it has already peaked. This is not how basketball works. Legitimate players averaged number one at the age of 23 with a decent 3-point hit and then became vital gears on the winning teams, be it Detlev Schrempf, Jimmy Butler or Marcus Morris.

Imagine a world in which Williams maintains a 3-point stroke in the regular season in the playoffs, adds to his then burgeoning game as a 6-foot-6 player, and perhaps expands his skills as a playmaker, particularly on hard drives after closing in the corner.

Add defensive versatility to his calling card — at one point in the playoffs, Williams combined to hold Durant and Antetokounmpo’s 36 percent shot — and you’re looking at “Draymond Lite.” In the Celtics team that already includes a player from around the world in Tatum, All-Star owner in Brown, and veterans like Horford, Brogdon and Marcus Smartthere is a supplementary mill lane in the front area along with the high fly Robert Williams.

The role is there to take it if Grant Williams can cuddle it. Fortunately, he’s a prime candidate to show better maturity, whether that’s tempering his theatrical acting with judges (please, please, please put a stopper in that), avoiding unnecessary scrambling matches with provocateurs like Green, or even taking open shots. If it was his confidence. recede.

He obviously has a winning personality, which is why he always picks up the mic, and why is his teammates Gleefully mocking him to demand pardon in the alley in open court or They ask to be called Batman After the closure of MVP Nikola Jokic. This is also the reason why it has become an entertaining game for Warriors star Steve Curry, who Quenching ESPYs It seems more about real affection than actual hostility. His teammates and opponents give it to kinetic-mouthed Williams because they know he can take it.

So while the Gallinari news is a tough way to start bootcamp, it creates an opportunity for one of the real X Factors on the list. Don’t be surprised if Williams deals with it.