It’s been over a year since Grant Williams played under then-Boston Celtics head coach Ime Udoka, but even apart, the love is still in place.

Udoka, who lasted just one season with the Celtics, undergoing a deep run to the 2022 NBA Finals, is back at the helm, debuting as head coach of the Houston Rockets. Meanwhile, Williams also departed Boston, inking a four-year, $54 million deal in the offseason to join the Dallas Mavericks.

Both former Celtics met face-to-face on Tuesday night with their new respective organizations and Udoka had plenty to say about Williams.

“He had a bravado about himself that you need to have to be good,” Udoka said postgame, according to Dwain Price of “I love Grant because the time we spent together was invaluable for our team.”

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Dallas outlasted Houston in a 121-115 NBA In-Season Tournament victory, however, Williams wasn’t effective. The 25-year-old went scoreless through 18 minutes in the starting lineup, shooting 0-for-5 from the field while also committing two turnovers.

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That’s not exactly the norm for Williams, who this season is settling into his 3-and-D role with the Mavericks. He’s averaging a career-best 9.8 points while shooting a career-high 43% from 3-point territory.

“He bought into that role and defended multiple positions, and I think he brings some of that here to Dallas as well,” Udoka explained.

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Udoka’s also found success, establishing a Rockets defense that’s allowed the second-fewest points (105.5) to opponents in the NBA.

Neither the Mavericks nor the Rockets advanced to the quarterfinal round of the In-Season Tournament.

Featured image via Kevin Jairaj/USA TODAY Sports Images