The Boston Celtics may have lost the 2022 NBA Finals, but Grant Williams still thinks they were the best team in basketball.
"When I've reflected and looked back to those games, I still would say confidently -- confidently — to this day they weren't the better team," Williams said during an appearance on Duncan Robinson's podcast. "I would say they were the more disciplined team. I would say that without a doubt."
The Celtics held a 2-1 lead in the Finals before the Golden State Warriors came back to win the last three games. Boston trailed by a combined two points going into the fourth quarter of Games 4 and 5 before being put away in the final 12 minutes by the veteran Warriors.
Williams said Golden State's championship experience and veteran guile ultimately played the difference.
"Their history of being in the Finals, their championship pedigree, that was real. At times, when you go back and watch the film, we had commanding leads or had opportunities where we went on runs. The next thing you know, we 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. Stuff like that. Just discipline of making the right play over and over and over again, we didn't play well. Well, they play the same way no matter what."
The Warriors' core of Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson were playing in their sixth Finals, having gone to five straight from 2015 to 2019. While the Celtics core had made several deep runs to the playoffs, this was their first time on the Finals stage—and sometimes the inexperience showed.
It's unclear which of the teams is ultimately more talented—typically, it's a good idea to go with the one that has Curry knocking down shots—but Williams is correct in his assessment that the Celtics self-destructed at multiple times in the series.