Grant Williams has done a lot of reflecting since his Boston Celtics lost to the Warriors in the 2022 NBA Finals.
And at the end of the day, he feels like Golden State wasn’t the best team on the court.
During a recent interview on “The Long Shot” podcast with the Miami Heat’s Duncan Robinson and his co-host Davis Reid, Williams was adamant that the Celtics had a more talented team.
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“When I’ve reflected and looked back to those games, I still will say confidently, confidently to this day [the Warriors] weren’t the better team,” Williams said. “I will say that confidently.”
But while Williams believes his team had an advantage in the Finals when it came to talent, the Warriors had the Celtics beat in other areas, he said.
“I will say they were the more disciplined team. I will say that without a doubt,” he continued. “Their discipline and also I guess their … history of being in the Finals, their championship pedigree, you say, that was real.”
The Warriors and Celtics duked it out for six games, with Boston originally taking a two-games-to-one lead in the best-of-seven series. Williams feels like the Celtics squandered countless chances on the court because of their own lack of discipline.
“I feel like at times, when you go back and watch the film, we had commanding either leads or opportunities. We went on runs, and next thing you know we just 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.
Golden State Warriors
“Just stuff like that, the discipline of just making the right play over and over and over again, we didn’t play with, while [the Warriors] play the same no matter what. They’re going to get the same shots, they’re going to create the same looks, they know [what] their priorities are and they’re going to play with space.”
Williams went on to credit Finals MVP Steph Curry’s greatness as another key factor in the Warriors’ championship win, calling him the “best point guard ever.”
But still, Williams argued the Celtics were the better team in the Finals -- and implied that Golden State was well aware of the challenge they were up against. He pointed to the Warriors’ Game 4 win that tied the series as an example of that.
“I’ve never played anybody like [Curry], but when I look down the line or even just comparing the teams or even just what we felt on the court -- you should have heard how badly they celebrated after Game 4,” Williams said. “They were screaming because they knew they weren’t supposed to win that game.”
Even though Williams still feels like the Celtics were the better team, he said he believes their “overconfidence” ultimately led to their downfall against Golden State.
As the Warriors look to repeat this upcoming season after winning the franchise’s seventh NBA title, their matchups against the Celtics certainly will be must-watch games.
May the best team win.