How Grant Williams Will Approach Bigger Role As COVID-19 Ravages Celtics

This starting lineup could be the future

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The spotlight will be on Grant Williams and other younger players as the Boston Celtics face the Orlando Magic in preseason action Wednesday, considering six players worthy of Boston’s starting rotation are ruled out for the game.

While he’ll eventually have to share some of that spotlight with players like Jayson Tatum and Marcus Smart, both of whom are among four players who have the night off for rest purposes, Williams will play a huge role in the frontcourt while Jaylen Brown and Al Horford remain out due to health and safety protocols.

It could be a lot to take in for a third-year player who saw his role increase ever so slightly last season, when he averaged 18.1 minutes on the floor and scored 4.7 points, both increases over his rookie season. But Williams isn’t shying away from the opportunity.

“The biggest thing is just trying to stay prepared, trying to play the game the right way,” he told Celtics team reporter Amanda Pflugrad prior to Wednesday’s game. “I know we’re asked to do more technically because guys are out, but just letting the game come to us. There’s no need to go out there and force things. I feel like we’re all doing a good job of staying mentally engaged, but we’re also here to show some of our capabilities, as well.”

Williams is slated to start Wednesday alongside Payton Pritchard, Romeo Langford, Aaron Nesmith and Robert Williams.

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