How Celtics’ Grant Williams Views Defending Giannis Antetokounmpo

Antetokounmpo shot 2-for-12 from the field in the first half


May 4, 2022

For much of the first two games of the Eastern Conference semifinals, Boston Celtics forward Grant Williams has been tasked with a rather large and difficult assignment.

Trying to defend Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo is certainly no picnic in the park and Williams has displayed he is up for the challenge.

Williams played particularly strong defense on Antetokounmpo in the first half of Game 2, in which the Greek Freak notched only five points and shot a dismal 2-for-12 from the field. Following Boston’s 109-86 victory on Tuesday night at TD Garden, Williams explained his mind set in taking on an offensive force like Antetokounmpo, who is highly skilled and physically imposing.

“I view it as guarding him on an island,” Williams said. “Where it’s just you and him. You have to do your job. For us, that was how we kind of viewed it for this game to see how it would go. He started being a lot more aggressive in the second half and getting downhill and creating for himself. It’s just one of those things that you have to hunker down and trust in the work that you’ve done and do your best to contain one of the best players in the world.”

Boston’s lockdown, one-on-one defense of Antetokounmpo proved critical as the four other Celtics defenders on the floor could stick to Milwaukee’s shooters. With Antetokounmpo, who finished with a team-high 28 points on 11-for-27 shooting, unable to find his teammates for open looks, the Bucks shot just 3-for-18 (16.7%) from beyond the arc in the Game 2 loss.

Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images
Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown (7), Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34)
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