It’s just the Summer League, but former Tennessee star Grant Williams has already begun silencing his critics. Too small to play the post... Not consistent enough as a shooter... Not athletic enough... Williams heard it all through the draft process.
What has he done in his first few games as a pro? Well, he’s averaged over 13 points and nearly seven rebounds per night playing for the Boston Celtics in the NBA’s Summer League.
It’s not the competition he’ll be seeing on a nightly basis in the NBA, but it’s a more than adequate start.
Williams was at his best last night against the Grizzlies, scoring 21 points in 21 minutes while shooting 60 percent from the floor. Grant shot 6-10, which included an impressed 3-4 from the three-point line. That outside shot has come along in a hurry, which we saw signs of in Knoxville last season. Grant is now 6-16 from long range for the summer.
Williams helped lead the Celtics to a perfect 4-0 record, placing Boston as the top overall seed in the Summer League tournament.
Overshadowing Grant’s outstanding showing on Thursday was a run in with former Duke star Grayson Allen. Allen, who was dealt from the Utah Jazz to the Memphis Grizzlies in the Mike Conley trade, took a swipe at Williams under the basket.
The foul was ruled flagrant and Allen was ejected from the game. Allen committed another flagrant minutes before, pushing Williams after setting a screen.
Typical of Grant, he wasn’t interested in any unnecessary drama.
“He’s a competitor,” Williams said following the game. “Don’t take anything personally. I’ve always thought of it as you wind up in the game, things like that happen. So you respect him, he’s a talented player. He’s a guy who did really great things at Duke, he’s good friends with a couple of my friends, so I didn’t take it personally. It was just a matter of competing on the court.”
Williams and Allen will see each other again on Saturday, squaring off in the first round of the Summer League championship bracket.