Grant “Corner Office” Williams

benhogan

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Nov 2, 2007
15,879
Santa Monica
Good discussion on this page.

FWIW, I think that the "Al replacement" discussion is a bit of a diversion. The problem that we have now is that we really only have one guy on the team whose skillset and body is ideal for the "Big" role, and he's a JAG (Kornet). Al's too old to play big for long, Blake is only a big in the sense that he's tall and slow now, Vonleh/Cabin Jelly are really not big enough to play real minutes, TL can't stay healthy. We need a TL replacement, and this is not Grant. Grant provides great positional flexibility from beef small to short big. The Poeltl jones is about getting a true big in here, not another 4 in disguise.
100% this.
 

Saints Rest

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Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Good discussion on this page.

FWIW, I think that the "Al replacement" discussion is a bit of a diversion. The problem that we have now is that we really only have one guy on the team whose skillset and body is ideal for the "Big" role, and he's a JAG (Kornet). Al's too old to play big for long, Blake is only a big in the sense that he's tall and slow now, Vonleh/Cabin Jelly are really not big enough to play real minutes, TL can't stay healthy. We need a TL replacement, and this is not Grant. Grant provides great positional flexibility from beef small to short big. The Poeltl jones is about getting a true big in here, not another 4 in disguise.
In this thread (the GW thread), discussing the possibility of GW taking over Al's role as the big-sidekick seems very appropriate.

I totally agree that GW isn't now, nor will ever be a TL replacement as a true C who protects the rim, rebounds, and picks up points on lobs -- GW is terrible at almost all those things.

Right now, they need a TL replacement. It is possible that that need will never go away due to TL's questionable long-term health. In either case, eventually/hopefully, they will need a TL backup and it seems fairly certain that that guy isn't on the current Celtics roster. But to me, that is more a discussion for another thread.
 

lovegtm

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Apr 30, 2013
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Toscana via Kyiv
I know we've started to assume Grant gets paid this offseason, but there are also a lot of ways he doesn't, even with strong performance and a deep playoff run (up to a championship).

He's averaging 9.3 pts and 1.8 assists on 28 mins a game: he's getting playing time, and looks good, but not putting up big counting numbers. He obviously can shoot, but only 3.3 attempts/game there as well.

This just isn't the profile of a guy who gets paid. It's very easy to see him getting Smart'd in RFA: waiting around awhile and then getting a face-saving discount deal from the Cs.

I don't really see where the uptick in counting stats will come from for him on this team, particularly as Brogdon comes back, and Hauser keeps taking 2nd unit 3-point attempts.
 

benhogan

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Nov 2, 2007
15,879
Santa Monica
Grant, a starter now and when TL returns is being kicked around by Jared Weiss from "The Athletic" (a very worthwhile subscription)... Posted excerpts...

https://theathletic.com/3925564/2022/11/23/celtics-grant-williams-starting-lineup/?source=dailyemail&campaign=601983

Boston visited Memphis and Mazzulla wanted to try it out. White went to the bench and Williams got the start. He needed his defense to start imposing its will. Boston had to win the rebounding battle. The offense was clicking, but the physicality on defense was missing. Could Williams help set that tone from the beginning?

Well, it took them two weeks to lose another game, with Chicago finally getting the best of them Monday evening to snap a nine-game winning streak. Marcus Smart and Malcolm Brogdon were both healthy, yet Williams remained a starter and White came off the bench. Why is Mazzulla sticking with Williams?

The fourth-year big is averaging 11.1 points in 32.7 minutes per night since joining the starting lineup two weeks ago. He’s shooting 43.2 percent from deep on 4.6 attempts per game, while Boston’s defensive rating has been eighth in the league over these past eight games. Those are the numbers of someone winning their bet.

Twenty percent of the way through the season, he has become a legitimate wing who is looking to put the ball on the floor to make plays through the paint. He can change his direction with the ball and even drive different angles depending on how the defender closes out on him. He can kick it back behind him, throw it to the far corner or even slip it to a teammate hiding in the dunker spot behind the hoop. He’s gone from a basic passer to a real playmaking floor-spacer.

The most notable difference this year has been the types of players he’s guarding, as Mazzulla will often have him start on a guard or wing before switching on to another big.

Williams is guarding the pick-and-rolls most of the time while the center hangs back on the baseline, so they often will have him in switch so he can bully a star off the ball and then jump onto a rolling big heading for the post. That helps prevent the post mismatches that hurt Boston early in the season and reduce cross-matches overall.

“In different lineups, you have to be prepared to do different things,” Williams said. “Fortunately, in the starting lineup, I’ll probably start on the best player and just switch or maintain that matchup. It’s kind of different than when you’re in the second unit and you have to do a better job of understanding who’s on the court at the right time.”

Starting Williams next to Horford has steadied Boston’s defensive rating, which ballooned for the first nine games of the season aside from an easy win over Washington and the second overtime loss to Cleveland. The Celtics had a defensive rating of 35 percent or lower in six of those first nine games, but have been above 50 percent in six of the eight consecutive games Williams has started since.

The defensive rebound rate has also stabilized a bit over this span, which is a gamble with Williams out there that is paying off in the aggregate. He gives up a height advantage most of the time, but he boxes out hard to get balls to fall into his hands more often than not.

“I’m a guy that you’ll never know what coverage I’ll be in,” Williams said. “I may be switching, I may be playing in touch or drop. You’ll never know what I’ll be in. For me, it’s just whatever coach asks me to do, I’ll be prepared for it.”

One of the rewards of starting is coming into the game knowing who you’re gonna guard and who else is out there. The starting lineups don’t change as much as the second-unit rotations, and starters are announced before the game. Williams can spend the first six minutes of the game knowing exactly who he wants to guard and who he’s picking up in a switch.

When he started against Oklahoma City, he spent time guarding a red-hot Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, then picked up Aleksej Pokuševski. Going from an unstoppable finisher to a high-flying 7-footer, Williams has to play completely differently to handle such a wide range of players.

But he’s never been a clean fit anywhere in his career thus far. Williams had to carve out his space to find a place he belongs. When Rob Williams comes back sometime in the near future, it’s unclear where Grant Williams will end up. He’s playing at a level where it may make sense for Horford to move to the bench, keeping him fresh as he tries to stay healthy for another deep postseason run.
 

benhogan

Granite Truther
SoSH Member
Nov 2, 2007
15,879
Santa Monica
I know we've started to assume Grant gets paid this offseason, but there are also a lot of ways he doesn't, even with strong performance and a deep playoff run (up to a championship).

He's averaging 9.3 pts and 1.8 assists on 28 mins a game: he's getting playing time, and looks good, but not putting up big counting numbers. He obviously can shoot, but only 3.3 attempts/game there as well.

This just isn't the profile of a guy who gets paid. It's very easy to see him getting Smart'd in RFA: waiting around awhile and then getting a face-saving discount deal from the Cs.

I don't really see where the uptick in counting stats will come from for him on this team, particularly as Brogdon comes back, and Hauser keeps taking 2nd unit 3-point attempts.
Last night was another example of that. Grant played 31 minutes. 3pts, 4 rebs, 3assts.
I think Grant has a lot of value to the Celtics, but other teams will see those #s and won't be enticed to pay him the money he wants.

ALSO, Horford's drop coverage was getting hunted and rinsed repeatedly. Expect an adjustment, see Grant cover Bam tighter and go switchy on Bam picks. If Grant can slow that play down, that adds a ton of value, but won't show up in the box.
 

Saints Rest

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Last night was another example of that. Grant played 31 minutes. 3pts, 4 rebs, 3assts.
I think Grant has a lot of value to the Celtics, but other teams will see those #s and won't be enticed to pay him the money he wants.

ALSO, Horford's drop coverage was getting hunted and rinsed repeatedly. Expect an adjustment, see Grant cover Bam tighter and go switchy on Bam picks. If Grant can slow that play down, that adds a ton of value, but won't show up in the box.
It looked to me like there were a number of possessions last night (OK, >2) where the initial coverage was GW on Lowry. I wonder if that was to prep for any Lowry/Bam P&R action.

Regardless, the way that the Heat ran everything off some sort of Bam pick action was particularly notable, (didn't hurt that Scale kept harping on it). Attention must be paid!
 

slamminsammya

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Jul 31, 2006
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It really is remarkable what a good screen setter Bam is. I think Marcus was the only guy I saw capable of staying attached to hips through those screens or even recovering enough to contest the pullups from behind.
 

DavidTai

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Dec 18, 2003
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Herndon, VA
It really is remarkable what a good screen setter Bam is. I think Marcus was the only guy I saw capable of staying attached to hips through those screens or even recovering enough to contest the pullups from behind.
It drives me crazy, mostly because I cannot believe it's legal to spread his legs -wide apart- to intercept people trying to come over the screen.
 

Cellar-Door

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Aug 1, 2006
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It drives me crazy, mostly because I cannot believe it's legal to spread his legs -wide apart- to intercept people trying to come over the screen.
It's not, but the problem is if you let him trip you and you don't get the call (which you don't a lot of the time) you just gave up an easy bucket.