Celtics’ Grant Williams reveals NBA player he models his game after

Grant Williams has emerged as the perfect role-playing player for the Boston Celtics. He proved that in the 2022 NBA Playoffs with key contributions from both ends of the parquet.

Williams helped knock out Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant in the first round and limited two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo in the following series. In Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals, he propelled the Celtics to victory with seven 3-pointers.

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Those accomplishments came after a regular season in which he set career highs in points per game (7.8), rebounds (3.6), shooting percentage (47.5), and 3-point percentage (41.1). The 23-year-old knows he won’t win any scoring titles, but he’s found other ways to be an impactful player for Boston.

When asked who he modeled his game on, Williams named some notable role players who have left their mark on championship teams.

“As a little kid, I would have said Charles Barkley,” Williams told Sports Illustrated’s Michael Pina. Those are the guys I really admired back then. Because those are the guys that I think are the most valuable to a team.

“There will always be 25-30 point scorers. There will be generational talent. But the guys who really do it, Robert Horry. The guys that every team wants.”

The comparison to Draymond Green is one that has haunted Williams since his draft from Tennessee in 2019. Williams called Green his favorite player in high school and college. Former Celtics big man Kendrick Perkins called Williams a “poor man’s Draymond Green” for his defensive skills after the C’s picked him with their 22nd overall pick.

Of course, Williams still has a long way to go to be considered a player of Green’s caliber. The Golden State Warriors star’s resume includes three NBA titles, four All-Star nominations, seven All-Defensive selections and two All-NBAs. These awards should motivate Williams to build on the success of Year 3 of his NBA career.

Coincidentally, Williams and Green are on track to meet in the NBA Finals. Both the Celtics and Warriors are one win away from punching their tickets to the Championship Series.

Celtics-Heat Game 6 takes place Friday at 8:30 p.m. ET at the TD Garden. Coverage begins right here on NBC Sports Boston at 7:30 p.m. ET.

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