During the first 5 minutes of Game 2, we thought that Game 2 might look like the second half of Game 1, largely dominated by the Heat. The hosts found themselves in the lead 18-8 and found open 3-point shooters to penalize the Celtics defense, including Robert Williams was in difficulty to get out on the shooters, and also gave the locals second chances. But 5’41 from the end of the first quarter, a change changed the game. Ime Udoka decided to put on the field Grant Williams instead of Rob Williams.
The match then changed and Grant Williams, hero of Game 7 against the Bucks, did not emerge from the first half. Result, a terrible 57-27 passed by Boston during these 17 minutes, almost folding the meeting before the last 24 minutes.
We spread the game well,” said Ime Udoka, regarding the effectiveness of these lineups. “We attacked some matchups that we wanted and brought out Adebayo, Tucker and some of these guys. Obviously there are things that Rob does well, but he has some limitations in terms of spacing on offense. We had success against Milwaukee and Brooklyn with Al and Grant on the court, it spread the game and we could attack in many ways. It created a lot of open shots, a lot of 3-point shots, and he got into the rhythm, and then it opened up drive lines for our slashers.
Suddenly the Celtics attack started to work at full speed, and especially the defense too, which left very few good positions for the Floridians. The C’s finished on fire since after the entry of Williams they returned 7 shots, including 6 at 3-pts to finish the first quarter at 9/11 from afar! On the other side, the Heat were limited to 3/15 from afar in the last 20 minutes of the first half.
Grant Williams is still having a superb game with 19 points at 5/7 including 2/2 at 3-pts and 4 rebounds for a plus/minus of +37 in 32 minutes! He is becoming a major two-way player on the Boston team.
“He’s come a long way since his freshman year,” said Jayson Tatum about Grant Williams. “He’s worked on his game and he’s become someone we trust to catch the ball on half court. When he sees an opening, he attacks the circle, he does the right thing. That’s what he did.