Opening Up The Files On The Boston Celtics

Boston Celtics: Payton Pritchard leaped Hauser in rotation

Boston Celtics third-year reserve guard Payton Pritchard has finally leaped into the rotation and the last game in Toronto proved it.

In a game that saw Marcus Smart, Derrick White, and Rob Williams all leave with injuries, not to mention Jayson Tatum was already ruled out with wrist management, it was Payton Pritchard who’s number was called upon to step up when the team needed him most.

Pritchard stepped up, logging 26 minutes in Toronto finishing the night with 12-points on four 3-pointers, one of which gave the Celtics the lead in the fourth quarter. He’s proven to be consistent and reliable, always being ready for whenever he may get an opportunity to hit the court. 

This is what Pritchard said about always having the right mindset to stay ready for his moment.

“I wouldn’t be in the position I am today without having a tough mindset. A lot of people look at me and I’m a 6-foot-1, white, American guard. A lot of us aren’t there. So you’ve got to be tough and bring it every day.”

Dating back to the Jan. 11 game vs New Orleans, Pritchard has played more minutes and in more games than Sam Hauser. Hauser hasn’t played in the last two games and has played less than eight minutes in the four games he’s seen the court over Boston’s last six games. 

Pritchard has a legitimate role for himself on the Celtics. Considering the amount of games Smart and Brogdon could miss with injuries, Pritchard is too valuable as a scorer and creator for this team.

That said, you could say Pritchard’s shooting ability allows him to stretch the court no matter who’s on it, as he’s too consistent and earned the respect of the defense. If he’s on the court with Tatum, Brown, and Smart, the defense needs to respect them all.

He’s averaging 4.8 points, 1.4 rebounds, and 0.9 assists per game on 42/35/67 shooting splits this season. Pritchard has proven to be productive on both ends of the court and has earned the time to be on the court.

Pritchard will have the opportunity to play plenty in Orlando tonight, with both Smart and Brogdon already ruled out.

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