Boston Celtics 2020-21 individual players grades: Grant Williams

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Now that the 2020-21 Boston Celtics season is firmly in the rear-view mirror, it’s possible to spend some time taking stock of how each player did with the opportunity he had.

To that end, we are grading every player who put in time on the basketball court for the Celtics this season, including all 15 members of the regular roster, both two-way players and the players the team cut or traded away. That’s 21 players altogether, and today’s focus is second-year forward Grant Williams. Asked to play more of a modern power forward than where he found success as a small-ball center his first season in the league, the Tennessee product struggled a bit early but began to find his way late in the season.

Let’s assess Williams’ sophomore season in the league with the Celtics, in context.

Offense

Williams began his NBA career in 2019-20 with an epic case of the yips, but has since evolved into a fairly reliable long-range shooter if low in volume. He improved from just 25% from beyond the arc as a rookie to a very solid 37.2% this season. His free throw percentage fell off a cliff however, with the former Volunteer dropping from 72.2% as a rookie to just 58.8% in 2020-21. He rarely ends up at the stripe to shoot them and needs to become more assertive in a supporting role now that he's starting to find his shot, but has made real progress on this end of the court. Grade: B- https://twitter.com/TheCelticsWire/status/1409922186110976001?s=20

Defense

The Charlotte native was asked to move out of his comfort zone this past season in part to development and in part due to the team's needs, requiring Williams to learn how to defend out to the perimeter and to defend quicker, more mobile opponents as a 4 instead of a center. It was rough going at first, but the Tennessee product got it together well enough to earn the seventh-most minutes on the team this season. He's still got a long way to go to secure himself a role as a forward rather than a situation center, but you can see the blurry outlines of Williams in his new role coming into focus -- slowly. Grade: C- https://twitter.com/TheCelticsWire/status/1409943424246108162?s=20

Intangibles

The confidence we saw from a rookie Grant Williams in the 2020 Eastern Conference Finals was clearly shaken by his early struggles, but the former Vol kept at it and looked like a solid if flawed rotation player by season's end. Off the court, Williams was outspoken in his support for vaccination efforts and dispelling mistrust in minority communities that acted as a barrier to vaccination, winning the young forward plenty of credit in the intangibles department. Grade: C+ https://twitter.com/TheCelticsWire/status/1409969112755978240?s=20

Overall

While it might not have been the follow-up many expected after a very successful finish to his inaugural season as a Celtic, Williams was thrust into an unfamiliar role at the highest level of play and managed to find his way. It certainly took some time and often wasn't pretty, opening up a whole new array of skills the North Carolinian will need to master to truly be able to play down from where he started. But all things being equal, this was largely a successful year for Williams. Grade: C+ This post originally appeared on Celtics Wire. Follow us on Facebook! [lawrence-related id=52936,52919,52883,52826] [listicle id=52696]

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