Boston Celtics: Report card grades for C’s forwards in 2021-22

These 3 Boston Celtics starters are out tonight against the Milwaukee Bucks. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
These 3 Boston Celtics starters are out tonight against the Milwaukee Bucks. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports /
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Boston Celtics Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
Boston Celtics Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports /

The Boston Celtics bench

Grant Williams

The most improved player on the Boston Celtics was stretch-four Grant Williams in what was an apology tour of sorts for the Tennessee product. After last season, most of the C’s fanbase wrote this man off and wanted him traded or cut.

The third-year player went to work this past off-season to completely refine his game on both ends of the floor. He started by seeking help in the form of one of the best shooting coaches in the sport in Lethal Shooter, Chris Matthews.

It paid off in a big way, now we refer to a certain spot as Grant’s corner office. He is scorching hot from those corners and from beyond the arc overall, shooting a career-high 41%.

The forward also has made his bones as a beast on the defensive end giving a hard time to the likes of MVP frontrunners in Giannis Antetokounmpo and Nikola Jokic.  A player that can guard up to four positions without missing a beat.

The 23-year-old is so far beyond his years as a young leader with this group and just a highly intelligent ballplayer. He took the fans’ harsh criticism and did not deflect blame, but instead hit the gym and improved. Williams is the definition of someone who is mentally strong.

The Grant Williams apology tour duck boats are coming down in droves as he went from the hot seat to fan-favorite in one season. The forward ended the season with averages of 7.8 points, 3.6 rebounds, and an assist per game on 48% shooting from the field, 41% from the 3-point line, and 91% from the free-throw line. He hovered around 50/40/90 efficiency all season long and just narrowly missed the elusive club.

Grade: A+

Sam Hauser

The Boston Celtics finally have a lights-out shooter in their grasp after whiffing on opportunities to this piece in guys like Garrison Mathews, and Max Strus, who were cut.

His name is Sam Hauser and 3-point shooting is his game!

The undrafted forward had to make the team through excellent showings in both Las Vegas Summer League and the Preseason. The C’s would sign the six-foot-eight wing to a two-way contract to start the season dividing his tenure between Boston and their G-League affiliate in Maine.

Following the trade deadline which featured several Celts moves that left the team with four open roster spots to fill, his deal would be immediately converted to a standard NBA contract. Hauser is an incredibly tough case to evaluate, despite not having much of the role in the first three quarters of the season. Hauser saw an uptick in playing time and even (at times) edged out Aaron Nesmith as the ninth-man.

One discernable trait the lanky forward has is able to move without the basketball and hit 3-pointers. So much so, that 95% of his shots were of the long-range variety and despite that high volume he still converted at a 43% rate.

The issue is outside of his shooting, the forward is not a good defender, passer, rebounder, or at anything else to shed the label of a one-trick pony. Believe me, Boston could absolutely benefit from his beyond the arc specialties, but an elite defensive team cannot have weak links.

Sam still gets a passing grade here, but he needs to become a more versatile player to garner any big rotational minutes.

Grade: C+