Celtics

Four takeaways from the Celtics’ fourth straight win over the Grizzlies

(Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

A mix of observations and analysis as the Celtics wrapped up pool play in summer league on Thursday night with a 113-87 blowout win over the Memphis Grizzlies, giving them a 4-0 record for the week. 

Box Score

Grant Williams is knocking down a lot more 3s than expected: Outside shooting is supposed to be one of the biggest question marks for the 20-year-old rookie power forward. Williams knocked down 29 percent of his 3-point attempts at Tennessee, including just 32 percent per game during his junior year.

Needless to say, a switch to more frequent shooting from deep was supposed to be a work in progress for the rookie, but Williams took advantage of getting a green light on Thursday night. The No. 22 overall pick knocked down four of five attempts from downtown to finish with a team-high 21 points in the blowout win. The performance lifted Williams’ numbers for the week to 43.7 percent from 3-point range, with several of his makes coming above the break.

Williams is already doing the little things very well (plus-85 in Vegas) so the added offense is a major revelation during a week when Boston has a number of scoring weapons. He isn’t seeking out shots but he also isn’t turning down open looks from the perimeter either when teammates find him with smart passing.

Williams was never a high volume outside shooter at Tennessee (0.9 attempts per game) so the increased confidence Boston is showing in him already appears to be paying off. If he can be a reliable outlet for Kemba Walker or Carsen Edwards on the wing, he’s going to play a lot of minutes next year based largely on his effectiveness on the defensive end as well.

Williams also managed to keep his cool in the face of adversity after Grayson Allen gave the power forward a pair of cheap shots in the second half that ultimately resulted in his ejection. Allen has a long track record of dirty plays, but Williams took the unnecessary contact in stride.

“He’s a competitor,” Williams told reporters. “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.”

It’s easy to see now why the Celtics signed Max Strus to a two-way deal: It had been a quiet start to summer