Grant Williams insists Celtics were 'better team' than Warriors in NBA Finals

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Grant Williams shares bold take about Celtics' Finals loss to Warriors originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The 2021-22 Boston Celtics were a confident group, and that confidence helped them surge to their first NBA Finals appearance since 2010.

If you ask Grant Williams, though, the better team didn't win the series.

During an appearance on "The Long Shot" podcast with Miami Heat forward Duncan Robinson and co-host Davis Reid, Williams shared his thoughts on the Celtics falling to the Warriors in the 2022 NBA Finals -- including a take that Golden State fans may disagree with.

"When I've reflected and looked back to those games, I still would say confidently -- confidently -- to this day (the Warriors) weren't the better team," Williams said.

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Williams did note the Warriors were "the more disciplined team" than Boston "without a doubt," and pointed to Golden State's championship experience -- 2022 was the team's sixth NBA Finals appearance in eight seasons -- as an advantage. But the Celtics forward also suggested that the C's beat themselves.

"Their history of being in the Finals, their championship pedigree, that was real," Williams said. "At times, when you go back and watch the film, we had commanding leads or had opportunities where we went on runs. The next thing you know, we turn it over three times because we missed three shots.

"Instead of making the right read, because we missed those shots, we started forcing things. Stuff like that. Just discipline of making the right play over and over and over again, we didn't play well. Well, they play the same way no matter what."

To Williams' point, Boston averaged a whopping 16.8 turnovers per game in the series and barely topped 100 points per contest (100.8) after leading the NBA in offensive rating over the second half of the season. So, they did plenty to shoot themselves in the foot, even if the Warriors' defense deserves credit for its pressure on Boston's offense.

Williams highlighted a specific moment in the series -- after Golden State stormed back to win Game 4 at TD Garden -- as evidence that the Celtics had the more talented group.

"When I look down the line, comparing the teams, or even just what we felt on the court, -- you should have heard how bad they celebrated after Game 4. They were like screaming, because they knew they weren't supposed to win that game," Williams said.

You could argue Boston was the more talented team on paper. The Celtics boasted the NBA's best starting five from January 1 onward and boasted a younger, more athletic roster led by young stars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.

The more talented team doesn't always win, however, Williams and the C's will have to accept that they need to be better in 2022-23 to finish the season as champions.

"The overconfidence side of things kind of got to us," Williams added.