Grant Williams

Celtics get swimming lessons from Olympic medalists Cullen Jones, Elizabeth Beisel

Celtics get swimming lessons from Olympic medalists Cullen Jones, Elizabeth Beisel

Sunday was an eventful off-day for several of the Boston Celtics' stars, who got to hang with some of the finest American swimmers we'll see this summer in Tokyo.

Kemba Walker got some schwag from Olympic gold medalist Cullen Jones and Elizabeth Beisel:

 

Elsewhere, Grant Williams got in the pool and took some lessons:

The swimmers teamed up with the Celtics to encourage more youths to pick up swimming. The benefits, as Williams explained, are manifold:

"It’s not only about learning a skill, but it’s just fun. I enjoyed being in the water," Williams said. "It felt pretty cool to be able to say you know how to swim, and it’s a workout. Some people hate lifting weights. Some people hate running. Swimming is one of those things that gets your whole body into it — your arms, your legs — and you’re breathing, so I think it not only allows you to live longer, but look a little bit better as you get up there in age."

Even Danny Ainge was getting in on the fun . . .

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Grant Williams will dye his hair pink if three Celtics teammates make All-Star Game

Grant Williams will dye his hair pink if three Celtics teammates make All-Star Game

If you're a Boston Celtics fan, you already should have been voting for Kemba Walker, Jaylen Brown, and Jayson Tatum to make this year's NBA All-Star Game.

But rookie Grant Williams provided even more incentive to do so Monday night's win over the Chicago Bulls.

The 21-year-old began his comical press conference by lobbying for his three C's teammates, then he declared he'll dye his hair pink of Walker, Brown, and Tatum each are voted in.

Watch below:


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So, yeah. If that won't motivate you to head over to Celtics.com/vote, nothing will.

Walker is currently third among Eastern Conference guards in All-Star voting while Brown is seventh. Tatum has the fifth-most frontcourt votes.

In addition to his phenomenal postgame presser, Williams was solid off the bench in Boston's victory contributing 11 points, five rebounds, and three assists.

Takeaways: C's found the solution to their biggest recent problem

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Bulls-Celtics Takeaways: Celtics aggressive play, improved effort fixing their recent issues

Bulls-Celtics Takeaways: Celtics aggressive play, improved effort fixing their recent issues

BOSTON -- When the losing streak for the Boston Celtics reached a season-high three games, there was concern for sure. 

But panic button time? 

Uh, nope. 

That’s because the losses by all accounts came down to the Celtics not playing with the kind of effort that we had seen previously. 

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And in the land of roster problems, improving effort is one of the easiest fixer-upper jobs out there. 

So it should come as no surprise that the Celtics have been able to quickly get back on a winning track with back-to-back wins, the last of which being a 113-101 victory over the Chicago Bulls. 

Despite the three-game skid, the Celtics (27-11) continue their back-and-forth status with the Miami Heat for the No. 2 spot in the East behind the Milwaukee Bucks. 

And the Bulls, even with yet another strong performance from All-Star hopeful Zach Lavine (30 points, 22 coming in the second half), continue to spiral downwards toward what’s likely to be another trip to the NBA lottery. 

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AGGRESSIVE ACTS, 2.0

While the numbers as far as points in the paint weren’t nearly as bountiful as they were over the weekend against New Orleans, the Celtics were still cashing in on attacking the Chicago defense off the dribble. 

Enes Kanter and Jayson Tatum set the tone with their work on the block posting up Chicago defenders at the start of the game, resulting in point-blank baskets and control of the game from the very outset. 

And as the Bulls adjusted and to some degree made those points at the rim tougher to come by, Boston’s aggressive play continued with better passing on the perimeter which often involved passing up good shots for great ones.

Because of that aggressive, attacking brand of basketball, the Celtics were able to withstand a Chicago surge in the third quarter by continuing to stay aggressive at both ends of the floor. 

ENES KANTER

With Daniel Theis (sore knee) out, Kanter got a rare start. And to his credit and his Celtics teammates, the opportunity was not wasted. 

Kanter has been a beast lately when it comes to impacting the game at the rim, whether it be scoring, rebounding or both. 

That’s exactly what he did on Monday, finishing with a near double-double of 15 points and nine rebounds. 

Kanter’s performance proved what Kanter has been saying about his play all season, and that is that it doesn’t matter if he starts or comes on as a reserve. He knows his role and that more than anything else involves him scoring at the rim and rebounding - two things he once again did at a high level. 

THE BENCH

When a starter goes down, the potential domino effect is not lost on the second unit. With Kanter going into the starting lineup, that left a huge scoring void on the second unit. 

And as we’ve seen so many times this season, the Celtics had plenty of willing and able bodies prepared to fill it as they outscored Chicago's backups, 36-31.

Among them was Grant Williams, the only player on the active roster in the blowout win against New Orleans who did not take a shot. 

He was definitely looking to be more impactful as a scorer on Monday as he finished the game with strong 11-point, 5-rebound, 3-assist performance.

Williams’ play was just one of the many success stories for Boston’s second unit. 

And it was an encouraging sign for a unit that wasn’t at full strength against the Bulls. And with the way this month is shaking out schedule-wise, chances are high that there will be more games this month when the second unit isn’t whole. 

But as we saw on Monday, not being whole doesn’t mean this group can’t cause opponents a whole lot of trouble. 

Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Pistons-Celtics, which tips off Wednesday at 6 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live, and then Mike and Scal have the call at 7 p.m. You can also stream the game on the MyTeams App.