Boston Celtics

Apr 21, 2023; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Boston Celtics forward Grant Williams (12) waits for a rebound between Atlanta Hawks forward De'Andre Hunter (12) and guard Bogdan Bogdanovic (13) during the first half during game three of the 2023 NBA playoffs at State Farm Arena. Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Thursday night’s Game 3 Celtics loss was the first time forward Grant Williams has seen the floor in the postseason. Despite the loss, Williams played well and certainly made a case for more minutes as the playoffs roll on.

Williams checked into the game for the first time in the first quarter, and ended up playing a total of 18 minutes. In that time he scored 14 points without missing a shot – Williams hit all four of his field goal attempts, which were also all three pointers. He added a pair of free throws, as well as two rebounds, two assists, and a steal.

  • According to Williams, he didn’t even expect to play in the game before Joe Mazzulla subbed him in in the first quarter. “Not at all, but you’ve gotta stay ready for the moment,” Williams told reporters, when he asked if he knew he was playing.

    To open up the minutes for Williams, Al HorfordRobert Williams and Sam Hauser saw less time on the floor in Game 3. Horford played 29 minutes in Game 3 after averaging 35 minutes per game over the first two games. Williams played 19 minutes after averaging 22.5 minutes, while Hauser was on the floor for just nine minutes after playing 13 minutes. Derrick White also saw a slightly reduced role, but he had to sub out of the game early due to foul trouble.

    Given the Celtics allowed 130 points in the loss – which is their sixth-highest total of the season – it wouldn’t be surprising to see some rotation changes in Game 4. The question is will those changes involve Williams, and to what extent?

    Mazzulla and the Celtics have just under 48 hours to figure that out. Game 4 tips off Sunday at 7 p.m. with coverage beginning at 6:30 on Sunday on 98.5 The Sports Hub and the Sports Hub BetMGM Celtics Radio Network.

  • Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at

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