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Boston’s Payton Pritchard gets high grade among his rookie peers

January 20th, 2021

Boston Celtics rookie point guard Payton Pritchard is being held in high regard among the best players from his cohort of incoming NBA players in a recent Bleacher Report article by Jonathan Wasserman.

The first-year floor general, drafted out of the University of Oregon with the 26th overall pick of the 2020 NBA draft, has impressed Celtics fans and NBA analysts alike with his ability to impact winning despite being taken near the end of the first round — and seen by some as a reach at the time. The former Duck has already scored his first game-winner for Boston, and has become a reliable backup point guard for the organization just a dozen games into the season.

Wasserman notes Pritchard “quickly won over head coach Brad Stevens, who’s played the rookie as a regular in the rotation with Kemba Walker out. Pritchard’s three-point shooting (43.2 percent) has been a plus for the lineup.”

“And despite lacking size and athleticism, he’s made 55.8 percent of his twos, effectively using his craftiness, body control and touch around the paint (62.5 percent inside 10 feet),” he added. “IQ and defensive competitiveness have also helped Pritchard earn minutes.”

“He could be looking at fewer opportunities with Walker back, but he’s already made a strong case for backup reps at both guard spots by hitting open shots, moving the ball and playing hard,” observed the Bleacher Report analyst.

While it remains to be seen how the backcourt rotation will pan out with Walker back in the fold, it’s hard to imagine Pritchard won’t still see significant floor time moving forward based on what he’s done so far.

That play was good enough to earn the former Duck a solid “A” grade from Wasserman, among the very best assessments the writer granted any rookie.

And while he won’t get enough minutes to challenge for Rookie of the Year, it would be a bit of a surprise if the Oregon native didn’t at least make one of the All-Rookie teams at minimum.


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This content was originally sourced and posted at Yahoo! Sports – News, Scores, Standings, Rumors, Fantasy Games »
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