Payton Pritchard has been one of the most surprising rookies in the early part of new NBA season. The Celtics rookie had a career night against the Raptors down in Tampa.
The No. 26 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft played 32 minutes going scoring 23 points with eight assists going 8-for-13 from field goal range.
Payton Pritchard tonight
Kid is a baller 🔥 pic.twitter.com/ZDxHsXZEFb
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) January 5, 2021
Pritchard is only eight games into his professional career and he has already been impressing his teammates and fans. The Oregon point guard has been providing a spark off the bench. He has been filling in for the injured Marcus Smart and Kemba Walker.
Prior to tonight’s career night, he was big in the win over the Pacers five nights ago, scoring 10 points with five rebounds and assists. Pritchard has done nothing but impress since the start of the season.
There isn’t a shot Payton Pritchard can’t make. pic.twitter.com/un6jrjIkyv
— Taylor Snow (@taylorcsnow) January 5, 2021
FastPP Making a Case to Start?
It is incredibly early to think Pritchard will continue on the pace he is currently playing at. Once the Celtics get healthy and Walker and Smart are back, Pritchard will see his minutes reduce down.
Pritchard has been playing over 20 minutes a game to start his rookie campaign. There has only been three other players under head coach Brad Stevens who have played similar minutes, Kelly Olynyk, Marcus Smart and Jayson Tatum.
As the rookie continues to contribute in different ways for Stevens and the Celtics, he should continue to see significant minutes. The Celtics need to continue to put Pritchard in positions he can succeed while knowing the rookie will make mistakes along the way.
Before Stevens can make the decision to officially start Pritchard, the Celtics need to see if he can handle being the primary ball handler.
Snap back to reality, ope there goes gravity
There is a lot of excitement and optimism surrounding Pritchard for what he is doing on the court. He is earning the respect of his teams in the process giving him nicknames for the social media world to create more buzz.
Whether FastPP, or the GOAT or 8Mile, Pritchard is becoming an quick fan favorite in Boston. He is bringing energy to the court and the Celtics having another scrappy player provides them more depth.
Until the league finally catches up to Pritchard and his play, Celtics fans will enjoy the hype and the buzz around him. Pritchard looks more like one of the top 12 players in the NBA Draft than the player drafted at No. 26.
— Above The Parquet Celtics Podcast (@AboveTheParquet) January 5, 2021
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