Jaylen Brown reacts to Joel Embiid stepping on Grant Williams' head in Game 3

Brown gives candid reaction to Embiid accidentally stepping on Williams' head originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Defending the new NBA MVP is a tough task, especially when that player is Joel Embiid.

The Philadelphia 76ers center is a scoring machine and led the league with 33.1 points points per game during the regular season. He can dominate in the low post, shoot from the mid-range and knock down shots from 3-point territory.

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He's also an imposing figure at 7-foot and 280 pounds.

Boston Celtics forward Grant Williams did a good job defending Embiid in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals on Friday night at Wells Fargo Center. Williams' toughness was tested in the fourth quarter when Embiid accidentally stepped on his head and caused it to slam against the court.

Williams briefly left the floor as the training staff wiped away the blood from his face and worked to fix whatever wounds were opened. Like a hockey player who takes a huge hit or a puck to the face and quickly returns, Williams was right back on the court shortly after the incident to help Boston close out the game.


His teammates appreciated the toughness he showed in the 114-102 win that gave the Celtics a 2-1 series lead.

"I saw Grant get his head stepped on by a 300-pound individual, and to see that live was crazy, probably the craziest thing that I've seen on a basketball court," Celtics star Jaylen Brown said when asked about the play.

It's been an up-and-down year for Williams. He showed why he's a really valuable 3-and-D wing at times, while also struggling to get consistent playing time at different points in the season. He averaged only 12 minutes in the first round against the Hawks and didn't even play in three of the six games. This series versus the Sixers has been different. He's averaging 18 minutes and being tasked with guarding one of the world's best players.


"Grant has been great," Brown said. "Grant has been humble all year long. It's been tough for him. He's a tremendous part of our team. We've challenged him in different ways. His maturity level, the ability to play his role, the ability to raise his level and get stops and do what is needed to be done regardless of his emotions and feelings and how he feels about certain situations, you can't ask for anything better than that. Grant is a true professional. To not play a lot last series and now play more this series, and accept that challenge and put his life on the line for it. You see his head smashed into the court and get back up with a smile on his face, that's Grant Williams."

If the Celtics are going to win the NBA Finals this spring, they'll need all that Williams has to offer, including his defense, versatility, toughness and 3-point shooting.

Role players have to step up and provide key minutes in clutch situations, and that's exactly what Williams did in Game 3.