Former NBA Champion Praises Celtics Rookie; Wants Him in ROTY Conversations

Published 01/15/2021, 11:45 PM EST
Jan 6, 2021; Miami, Florida, USA; Boston Celtics guard Payton Pritchard (11) celebrates with guard Carsen Edwards (4) after making the game winning basket against the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports


The Boston Celtics selected Payton Pritchard from Oregon with their 26th pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. His stock fell due to him spending four years at college, but now he is proving to be an absolute steal for the Celtics.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Tonight, against the Orlando Magic, he had 16 points and 4 rebounds off the bench. He also continued his three-point excellence, shooting 4-8 from deep.

After this impressive performance, former NBA champion Kendrick Perkins praised him on Twitter. He wrote about how other top rookies are being praised, but he would be annoyed if Pritchard was left out of the ROTY conversations.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

He has been very impactful off the bench like Perkins mentioned. The Celtics needed a scorer off the bench, and Pritchard has filled in perfectly.

He is currently averaging 9.3 points per game for the season on 50-44-90 shooting splits. Those are amazing shooting numbers, and if given the chance, he can easily score more.

Celtics’ Marcus Smart is loving Payton Pritchard’s contribution

While former Celtics like Kendrick Perkins are impressed by Pritchard, his current teammates also share that feeling. During the post-game interview, Marcus Smart praised Pritchard for his commitment and work ethic.

He said, “He’s been excelling, surprising us and everybody else in this league and showing he belongs here. We’re not surprised that those guys are having the nights consistently that they are.”

Pritchard, who has been nicknamed Fast PP by the Celtics fans, lived up to this moniker during their game against the Heat. With scores tied at 105-105, Smart drove in for a potential game-winner, but he missed.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Pritchard was the fastest to react and grabbed the rebound, before finishing the putback with just 0.2 seconds left. That sealed the game for the Celtics, and they got the crucial win.

He currently averages 23 minutes currently, which may take a hit once Kemba Walker returns. But the Celtics could give him a chance over Jeff Teague if he continues to perform. He has definitely been one of the top rookies so far and has been electric off the bench.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

The Celtics now face the struggling Knicks in their next game and will be aiming to make it their fifth win in a row.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

Aaron Mathew

1666 articles

Aaron Mathew is a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. A graduate in Mass Media from Xavier’s College, Aaron has been a part of EssentiallySports since May 2020 where he covers both NBA and NCAA basketball news, and has also covered NBA 2K. In the past, Aaron has worked at the Sports Desk of Mumbai Mirror.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT