Add news
March 2010
April 2010
May 2010June 2010July 2010
August 2010
September 2010October 2010
November 2010
December 2010
January 2011
February 2011March 2011April 2011May 2011June 2011July 2011August 2011September 2011October 2011November 2011December 2011January 2012February 2012March 2012April 2012May 2012June 2012July 2012August 2012September 2012October 2012November 2012December 2012January 2013February 2013March 2013April 2013May 2013June 2013July 2013August 2013September 2013October 2013November 2013December 2013January 2014February 2014March 2014April 2014May 2014June 2014July 2014August 2014September 2014October 2014November 2014December 2014January 2015February 2015March 2015April 2015May 2015June 2015July 2015August 2015September 2015October 2015November 2015December 2015January 2016February 2016March 2016April 2016May 2016June 2016July 2016August 2016September 2016October 2016November 2016December 2016January 2017February 2017March 2017April 2017May 2017June 2017July 2017August 2017September 2017October 2017November 2017December 2017January 2018February 2018March 2018April 2018May 2018June 2018July 2018August 2018September 2018October 2018November 2018December 2018January 2019February 2019March 2019April 2019May 2019June 2019July 2019August 2019September 2019October 2019November 2019December 2019January 2020February 2020March 2020April 2020May 2020June 2020July 2020August 2020September 2020October 2020November 2020December 2020January 2021February 2021
News Every Day |

Is Payton Pritchard NBA’s ‘Most Important Player You’ve Never Heard Of?’

Will Payton Pritchard shift the balance of power in the NBA’s Eastern Conference?

It sounds like a stretch, but ESPN’s Tim Bontemps believes the Boston Celtics rookie point guard is “the most important player you’ve never heard of on an NBA contender.” Bontemps bestowed the mantle upon Pritchard on Thursday night after he scored 20 points on a career-high six 3-pointers in the Celtics’ 120-106 win over the Toronto Raptors at TD Garden. It was the latest example of Pritchard providing much-needed scoring off the bench.

” … Pritchard, on the other hand, is now clearly the team’s sixth man,” Bontemps wrote. “He has played in every game when healthy this season — and for more than 10 minutes in every game but the one in which he suffered an MCL sprain against the Philadelphia 76ers on Jan. 22. Even with those missed games, he has made more 3-pointers than all but (Jayson) Tatum and (Jaylen) Brown on the Celtics this season, while his 46.9 percent clip from behind the arc has him second only to Memphis’ Demsond Bane (48.2 percent) among rookies taking at least three triples a game, and 10th among all players who have taken that many per game this season.

Pritchard’s ascension to sixth-man status is more impressive when one considers he entered training camp as the presumed third point guard on the Celtics’ depth chart.

“Part of what has made Pritchard so important is the lack of options around him on Boston’s bench. … Jeff Teague was signed to be the team’s primary backup point guard, but after scoring 19 points in the Celtics’ opening game of the season, he has shot 30 percent from the field (including a ghastly 28 percent on 2-point shots) and was dropped from Stevens’ rotation, with Pritchard taking his spot as the first guard off the bench.

” … Arguably no one else on the team can come in and provide that instant offense like Pritchard …. ” Bontemps continued. “And while he was an accomplished point guard at Oregon, playing on a Boston team with Walker, Tatum and Brown has allowed Pritchard to slide in perfectly as an off-ball player whose shot opposing defenses have to respect. He gives the Celtics’ primary scoring options vital room in which to operate and has been good enough defensively to hold his own.”

Pritchard has learned to do his job early in his NBA career.

“They draw such a crowd, so they’re going to have to draw a double-team or something,” Pritchard told reporters after the Celtics’ win over the Raptors, per Bontemps. “So it’s our job to space the floor and find openings for them.”

Will Pritchard’s emergence allow the Celtics to use their a $28.5 million trade exception more creatively than most expect? Bontemps believes Boston might be able to add an impact player before the March 25 NBA trade deadline.

” … And, with the East looking wide-open at the moment, such a move could allow the Celtics a chance to finally break through and return to the NBA Finals after reaching the Eastern Conference finals in three of the past four seasons.”

It’s still early in the NBA season and Pritchard’s career, but it already looks like the Celtics have found a valuable gem in the form of the 26th overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft.

The post Is Payton Pritchard NBA’s ‘Most Important Player You’ve Never Heard Of?’ appeared first on NESN.com.





Read also

What Those IG Story Polls Tell Me About The Untapped Potential of Local Club Merchandise

Police confirm arrest of 2 suspects over destruction of town union officials’ homes in Abia

Kosovo drama captures the rebellious work of war widows




News, articles, comments, with a minute-by-minute update, now on Today24.pro



Today24.pro — latest news 24/7. You can add your news instantly now — here
News Every Day

They said what?! Pros react to Pedro Munhoz’s win over Jimmie Rivera at UFC Vegas 20