Now that the Memphis Grizzlies are out of NBA Playoff contention, the Tennessee sports betting world turns its attention to another team with Volunteer State ties.
The Boston Celtics took down the Milwaukee Bucks in Round 2 and advance to face the Miami Heat in a Conference Finals series this week.
Boston’s starting lineup features none other than former Tennessee Volunteer power forward Grant Williams. The rising star played a record-setting Game 7, now he’s one step closer to leading his team to the NBA Finals.
Before Boston, there was Tennessee
Grant Williams might be a Boston Celtic now, but before turning pro he was busy sinkin’ threes with the Tennessee Volunteers. He’s become forever immortalized in Vols history as one of the greatest Tennessee basketball players of all time.
He played three seasons at the college, becoming an All-Southeastern Conference player each of those years and earning the SEC Player of the Year crown for the latter of those two seasons.
Williams showed consistent potential as a Vol, improving his shooting, rebound and assist stats year after year. He ultimately logged 104 game appearances during his college career, averaging 15.7 PPG in that time.
Following his junior season, Williams announced his decision to enter the 2019 NBA Draft. That move quickly ended up being a monumental one for Williams, as the Celtics selected him 22nd overall.
Grant Williams NBA stats & records
Now, Williams is wrapping up only his third year as a pro, and the rising talent has already amassed 209 court appearances. And much like his college career, his abilities have only improved season after season. Williams is currently logging his best record yet, posting an average 7.45 PPG, 3.22 RPG and 1.11 APG.
The young rookie made his first playoff appearance with Boston last year, logging an entire 20 minutes of play in Game 2 of the team’s first-round series.
He’s continued to impress in this year’s competition, going so far as to set a new league record.
In this past weekend’s final matchup against the Bucks, Williams broke Steph Curry’s record for attempted 3-pointers in a Game 7, going for a total of 18 shots from outside the circle. He also tied the current record for most 3’s made, sinking 7 of those attempts.
In all, he tallied a game-high 27 points for the night, serving as Boston’s lead contributor yet again.
Is Grant Williams the next Steph Curry?
Williams’ efforts on the court have already been monumental in his young career. His future potential has left many to wonder whether Williams could become the NBA’s next Steph Curry.
In terms of greatness, Curry’s accomplishments far overshadow Williams’ thus far. Curry holds three NBA Championship titles, eight All-Star game appearances and two MVP awards — to name just a few of his accomplishments.
However, Curry has been in the league since 2010. Williams’ career only began in 2019.
In terms of the future, Williams’ aptitude for growth makes him a dominant force to keep an eye on in the coming seasons. If he’s already making history in the Conference Semifinals, there’s no telling what’s next for the young star.
According to sportsbooks, he could very well be adding an NBA Championship title to his resume before long.
Celtics vs Heat: Game 1 odds
The Celtics meet their next match tonight for a Conference Finals Game 1 faceoff against the Miami Heat.
Boston carries odds of winning their Game 1 matchup, and oddsmakers favor them in the series overall.
NBA betting odds set Boston’s Game 1 spread at points, positioning the total score with an over/under of points.
Boston Celtics NBA Playoff betting
A series victory in the Conference Finals would catapult the Celtics straight to the Finals, where they’d face either the Dallas Mavericks or the Golden State Warriors. This would be Williams’ first visit to the NBA Finals and the team’s first appearance in over a decade.
The Celtics haven’t competed in a Finals matchup since 2010, where the Los Angeles Lakers ultimately bested them 4-3 in the series. Boston’s last title victory came in 2008, when they took down the Lakers 4-2.
This year, their odds of winning the NBA title currently sit at odds.
Oddsmakers give them a more feasable odds of securing dominion over the Eastern Conference.