The Boston Celtics have kicked off their 2022-23 season red-hot, winners in 12 of their first 15 contests, good enough for the best record in the NBA. They also ride an eight-game winning streak into their Friday contest against the New Orleans Pelicans.
After scoring no less than 109 points and netting 120-plus on six occasions throughout the streak, there’s no question that the Celtics have managed to find their stride offensively. Veteran forward Grant Williams attributed Boston’s early success to their “consistent” approach accompanied by players investing and trusting the journey following their 2022 NBA Finals appearance.
“We’re being consistent on what we need to accomplish,” Williams told Amanda Pflugrad, per team-provided video. “We’re consistent with our approach every single day, consistent with our mentality during games and we’re trusting one another. The biggest thing about this team is we’re learning how to be great with one another and make everyone better around them. So, we have a long ways to go but we’re in the right track right now.”
In their most recent win against the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday, the Celtics embodied their next-man-up mentality better than they have all season. Deferring to widespread offensive contributions, which included Derrick White’s first double-double of the season and 44 points on 68% (17-for-25) shooting from the field from the bench, Boston’s depth absolutely showed out.
However, Williams, who scored 18 points in the victory, is looking ahead. Not getting caught up in the early-year hype, the 23-year-old understands the bigger picture ahead for the Celtics down the road.
“We have to be better,” Williams said. “… Because we know what our ultimate goal is. So, that’s the mentality we have, even on a back-to-back, even on a night where we don’t feel like playing. We have to remember where we were and what we want to accomplish.
“Our guys are prepared every single night. Guys like Payton (Pritchard), guys like Luke (Kornet), guys like Sam (Hauser), myself — even the guys that come off the bench. … We’re all just trynna perform and do our jobs and play our roles to the best of our ability. And I think that’s what we’re accomplishing right now and everybody?s bought in… And excited for the opportunity every single night.”
Playing in 14 games this season while starting in six, Williams has averaged 9.9 points with 4.7 rebounds and 1.7 assists — all career highs. Meanwhile, Williams has shot 58.5% from the field, 50% from beyond the arc and 83.3% from the charity stripe thus far.
The Celtics are scheduled to tipoff against the Pelicans at Smoothie King Center at 8:30 p.m. ET.