Fundamental in Game 7 against the Bucks in the Eastern Conference semi-finals, Grant Williams had been invaluable in the absence of Robert Williams III, bringing his defensive intensity and his outside shot.
But with the intensity mounting, and the return of the much more intimidating Robert Williams III to the circle, Ime Udoka used him less and less. He thus accumulated only 4.2 points and 2.3 rebounds on average in the Finals, in 17 minutes, against 10.1 points and 4.3 rebounds on average over the first three rounds, in 31 minutes on average.
“I have to improve in my leadership, to be better with the guys”he explained during his end of season interview. “Progressing individually so that what happened [en Finale] does not happen again. Congratulations to the winners. It’s been a long season for both teams but it still shows to me that our team has a bright future. It gives me confidence for the future, for me and my teammates too I think. It makes you want to come back and play at this very high level of competition. »
To come back with a much stronger impact, to be more present on the pitch when it counts.
“I know that I still have to improve offensively, to put even more pressure on the opposing defense. I also want to keep improving defensively on what I’ve been doing for the past two to three years. But above all I want to reach the stage where there is no longer any reason to take me off the pitch, where my impact is such, both for the players, the coaches and the spectators, that it is impossible to get me off the pitch. match. »
“It is this type of immature behavior that we must change”
This was also, roughly speaking, the message sent by Draymond Green during his embrace with WGrant illiams after the match: “When you get back [en Finales], don’t let the opportunity slip through your fingers! ». The two men heated each other several times, the heat of the action obliges, but the respect is there.
“It’s physically and mentally that we ended up having trouble. And especially mentally. We were ready physically but I think they had that discipline and the experience of those moments and we played immature in a way. We missed a lot of the readings that we normally do and that started counterattacks for them. We need to better understand what we are being asked to do and read better what we have to do on the pitch. We had a good understanding of what we had to do but we just executed it badly. We had enough chances, because we held them well defensively, but our attack put us in the way. We have to pay more attention to our ball possessions in attack. »
With almost 17 loose balls per game, the Celtics shot themselves in the foot, as well as blasting Grant Williams. As solid as they may have been defensively, since their January comeback, Ime Udoka’s men have failed offensively, with Jayson Tatum in the lead but Grant Williams and others not far behind…
“The story of these Finals is the stray balls and offensive rebounds. But they also managed to change the dynamic of the series, winning three games in a row and upping their game physically. We responded in this area but we also pointed the finger sometimes [en coulisses] and it is this type of immature behavior that we must change. We have to be more prepared on the details” thus concludes the strong winger.