Grant Williams took an opportunity to start Wednesday and ran with it.
The third-year forward replaced Robert Williams in the starting five against the Atlanta Hawks, and especially early on, kept Boston in the game.
He finished with a career-high 18 points and six rebounds in a 110-99 loss to the Hawks, where the Celtics were without two of their best defensive players.
Williams did his best to fill in the cracks.
“You just trying to come in and play with energy,” Williams said after the game of integrating in with the starters. “Be a guy that not only competes at the highest level but just doesn’t mess up their groove. Some of the starters kind of have that relationship where you’re able to kind of just fill in and try not to do too much. But also give them a different option. So that’s kind of how I view it — just be a solid guy that they can they know is available and can do a little bit of what they need me to do.”
Going back to preseason, Williams has achieved the expectations of many. Where he formerly may have been thought of as a fringe or situational rotation player, he showed up in great shape ready to go this season.
And after Wednesday, he has a new career best in scoring.