Former Tennessee star forward Grant Williams is closing in on the dream of every athlete. Starting this upcoming Thursday night, Williams and the Boston Celtics will officially clash with the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals.
Williams, in his third season in the NBA with Boston, will be taking part in his first-ever NBA Finals series.
On Tuesday morning, ESPN’s Kevin Pelton listed Grant Williams in the Top 10 players that will be participating in the Finals this year. According to Pelton’s rankings, Williams checks in right at No. 10.
“Because he’s been healthy the entire run and has played consistently, Williams ranks fourth on the Celtics in playoff minutes while starting just five of 18 games,” Pelton wrote for ESPN. “Against an opponent that prefers to play from the outside in, Williams’ quick feet and better than 40% 3-point shooting might prove more valuable than Robert Williams III‘s rim protection and above-the-rim finishing.”
In 18 playoff games this season so far, Williams is averaging 10.1 points, 4.3 rebounds, and two-made three-pointers per game. Williams has had some major moments throughout the playoffs, including a 21-point showing in game two of the Eastern Conference Semifinals and a 27-point showing in game seven of that same series against the Bucks.
During that 27-point outburst in game seven, Williams knocked down an NBA record-tying seven three-pointers, matching none other than his upcoming Finals opponent Stephen Curry.
However, in addition to the scoring, Williams has been valuable for the Celtics this postseason on the defensive side of the ball. In the Celtics’ first-round matchup against the Brooklyn Nets, Williams put up a tremendous defensive effort against Kevin Durant, following that up with key defensive stops on Giannis Antetokounmpo in the next round against the Bucks.
And one more possession of outstanding defense from Grant Williams on Kevin Durant here. This is clamping down and locking up one of the game's best scorers when the Celtics needed a stop: pic.twitter.com/M6lPO4S2Ts
— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) April 26, 2022
See Also from RTI: VFL Grant Williams Trolls Vanderbilt During Celtics’ Press Conference
I have never seen Giannis Antetokounmpo get this much of a runway without running clean through whomever is in his way. He hit Grant Williams and was stopped cold. pic.twitter.com/120s4VqVpK
— John Karalis 🇬🇷 🇺🇦 (@John_Karalis) May 4, 2022
Grant Williams will once again have some big-time moments coming up in the 2022 NBA Finals. Williams will likely guard Draymond Green due to his size and mobility on the court, however, Williams has the speed to be able to keep up with switches on the perimeter. That means that even when a Williams is forced to pick up Stephen Curry, Jordan Poole, or Klay Thompson on a switch, Williams has enough athleticism and skill to at least keep up with them and not provide an easy offensive look.
The 2022 NBA Finals, featuring former Tennessee forward Grant Williams in his first career Finals appearance, will begin this Thursday night at 9:00 p.m. ET on ABC.