Grant Williams followed up his career performance in Game 7 against the Bucks with an evening full of flopping and annoying bravado.
Not everybody can perform a great encore.
The Heat trounced the Celtics 118-107 in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals, as an undermanned Celtics team imploded in the third quarter. Heading into the period, ESPN ran a montage of Williams’ best mic’d up moments in the first half, which featured the forward yelling banalities at his teammates in the huddle and being an overall chatterbox.
“We’re doing a great job, getting back in transition! Keep grinding in the half court the way we are,” Williams said at one point. “Keep talking, keep communicating!”
Amazingly, the Celtics did not heed his advice.
“Grant Williams w/ all that ‘false chatter’ FOH,” tweeted former Patriots cornerback Darius Butler.
As Jeff Van Gundy said on the telecast, it’s much better for a player to be overly enthused than subdued — especially in the Eastern Conference Finals. But Williams was asking to be taunted with his 2-for-5 performance from the field and incessant pep talks.
His enthusiasm is infectious when the Celtics win, and irritating when they lose.
In the fourth quarter, Williams was roundly criticized for hitting the deck when he initiated contact with Miami guard Max Strus following a bucket from Payton Pritchard.
“Max Strus couldn’t push Grant Williams down,” Van Gundy said. “Again, don’t reward acting and flopping.”
Williams, who broke Steph Curry’s playoff record Sunday for the most threes in a game, is a vital 3-and-D role player for the Celtics. But when they lose, he becomes an easy target.
That was certainly the case Tuesday.