For some time now, the Boston Celtics have been search of a pure shooter who can knock down shots consistently from the perimeter. Was Grant Williams that guy this whole time?
Williams, not typically know as a perimeter threat, not only has been stepping out more often and shooting from 3-point territory, but he’s hitting the shots, too. In Monday’s win over the Milwaukee Bucks, he hit five of his seven attempts from distance.
Lately, it’s become a hallmark of Williams’ game. Over his last three games, 13 of Williams’ 14 field goal attempts have been from beyond the arc. He’s shooting an impressive 8-for-13 from deep in that stretch.
His teammate, Jayson Tatum, is impressed — but he doesn’t want that getting to Williams’ head.
“Grant’s shooting the lights out — don?t let him hear that,” Tatum cracked to reporters after Monday’s game, via The Boston Globe. “He’s put in so much work to develop and to be a guy that can guard and space the floor. It’s night and day from when he first came into the league, and somebody we can really depend and rely on to knock down open shots and just space the floor.”
It’s little surprise the Celtics have made shooting more of a priority for Williams. Over the years, especially during the Brad Stevens head coaching era, they implored their big men to work on shooting from outside more. Amir Johnson, Aron Baynes, Daniel Theis and Al Horford all did it, and it adds a different look to the offense when teams know that they can’t just leave a big unattended outside the paint.
While the nearly 62% clip Williams is shooting at from distance these three games isn’t exactly sustainable, keeping that perimeter play part of his game could make him a far more valuable player, especially since the Celtics use him both as a forward and center.
Williams has been a useful enough player for the Celtics since breaking into the league in 2019. Adding this element to his game will make him a far-more-valuable player.