Williams knows to stay ready for Celtics

Williams knows to stay ready for Celtics
March 6, 2013, 3:30 pm
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INDIANAPOLIS — In his brief time with the Boston Celtics, Terrence Williams has heard the veterans, head coach Doc Rivers, and just about anyone associated with this franchise, constantly remind him to stay ready because opportunity is literally a shoulder tap away.

If he didn't know it before, he does now.

Williams didn't score a single point in Boston's 109-101 win over Philadelphia. But the newly-signed guard did play a vital role in the fourth quarter by providing a much-needed presence at the point that was a factor in the C's extending their winning streak to three in a row heading into tonight's game against Indiana.

"Terrence did a great job," C's coach Doc Rivers said of Williams who had two assists, giving the Celtics their biggest lead of the night (91-76).

He did have one turnover in his six-plus minutes on the floor, a turnover that had nothing to do with the opposition and everything to do with Williams thinking too much like a point guard and forgetting that at times his role as a playmaker involves scoring, too.

Leading 91-78, Williams had what looked like a fairly easy shot at the basket but instead forced a pass that was stolen by Dorrell Wright.

"Other than that, he was good," Rivers said.

For most of the night, Williams was thinking that he wasn't going to see any action at all.

But with 54.9 seconds to play in the third quarter, Rivers looked down at the bench and called upon Williams to sub in for Avery Bradley who was having his best scoring night of the season.

For Williams, it was yet another opportunity to show that the immature former lottery pick from a few years ago was growing in his knowledge of what's expected of him every night, regardless of how much he plays.

He came to the C's bench shortly after his turnover. He and Rivers discussed the mistake, which Williams was quick to say was his fault entirely.

"I had the lay-up, but I was being overly passive right there," Williams told CSNNE.com. "I should have taken the shot. My job is to run the team, get us in sets and pass the ball but I can't make those kind of mistakes."

Rivers sees Williams in no different light than any of his other players when it comes to mistakes. But for players like Williams, who knows his minutes will be limited, keeping miscues to a minimum is a must.

Aware of this, he's more than appreciative of the opportunity Rivers gave him to play Tuesday night, a game in which the Celtics were ahead by just five points to start the fourth quarter after having been out-scored 8-0 to end the third.

"It meant a lot to me," Williams said. "It was definitely a surprise to me when he put me out there to end the third, and he kept me out there to start the fourth."

But Williams was quick to add that just because his opportunity to play was unexpected, that's no excuse to be unprepared for the moment.

"Around here, you have to stay ready, and I am," Williams said. "If I play the first quarter, the fourth quarter or not at all, I'm ready. I'm always working on my game, trying to get better so I'll definitely be ready when the opportunity comes."