The unusual circumstances that surround the completion of the 2019-20 NBA season means plenty of zany stuff is sure to happen in Orlando, Fla.
Only 22 teams were invited to the NBA’s “campus,” and after eight regular-season games to determine the final standings, a full postseason will ensue. Since the layoff has been long and the ramp-up is quick, players might get off to slow starts and/or there could be a rise in injuries. As such, we might see a number of players come out of seemingly nowhere to make notable contributions for their team.
ESPN named one player from all 22 teams that could be a surprise, and for the Boston Celtics, the network chose rookie Grant Williams.
Here’s the reasoning from ESPN’s Tim Bontemps:
“It isn’t often that a rookie can be labeled a cerebral player, and yet the description fits Williams perfectly. An undersized power forward, Williams quickly earned the trust of Celtics coach Brad Stevens by showing a knack for knowing where to be and when to be there when he got chances to play. And, after famously opening his career by missing his first 25 3-point attempts, Williams shot 21-for-60 (35%) from deep after that. Williams should be an important reserve for the Celtics as they try to make it back to the NBA Finals for the first time in a decade.”
Indeed, Stevens clearly trusted Williams in a number of roles, even trotting him out as the Celtics’ tallest player on occasion. He certainly figures to be one of Boston’s first players off the bench, and his success could be key for a C’s team that has had its frontcourt depth questioned.