Celtics Coach Sounds Off on Payton Pritchard’s ‘Time to Step Up’

Payton Pritchard of the Boston Celtics.


Payton Pritchard of the Boston Celtics.

The Boston Celtics have established one of the best rotations in the NBA. With Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown leading the way, Derrick White, Marcus Smart, and Al Horford rounding out the starting lineup, and Malcolm Brogdon, Grant Williams, and Robert Williams coming off the bench, it would be difficult to find another team with better depth.

And their talent pool doesn’t end there, either. They still have Payton Pritchard coming off their bench, but he hasn’t been able to earn consistent playing time this year. But after putting up some impressive numbers in Boston’s recent win over the Brooklyn Nets, head coach Joe Mazzulla praised the young guard’s resiliency.

“I said it before, as far as our depth, like, I trust those guys,” Mazzulla told CLNS Media. “And to have a great team, you got to have guys that have the humility to know when it’s their time to step up. And when it’s their time not to. For Payton, I’m really happy for him. He’s maintained a level of professionalism, preparation, and just toughness to just stay the course.”

In his rookie and sophomore seasons, Pritchard was an integral part of Boston’s rotation. He played 19.2 minutes per contest in his rookie season, and last year, he plagued 14.1 minutes per game. Unfortunately for the young guard, when the Celtics traded for Brogdon this past summer, he fell out of the regular rotation.

So far this season, Pritchard has only appeared in 28 of the team’s 43 games this season. He’s averaging 4.4 points, 1.4 rebounds, and 0.9 assists per game on 41.6% shooting from the field and 34.4% shooting from behind the three-point line.

Ben Simmons Compliments Celtics Roster

Having a player as talented as Pritchard be out of the rotation speaks to just how loaded the Celtics are. They have so many great players on the roster that guys who could be getting regular minutes on another team are struggling to earn playing time.

After Boston’s win over the Nets, Ben Simmons spoke about how their great individuals have all come together to form a great product as a whole.

“They have some great individuals, but when you put it together, they play team basketball,” Simmons said via Taylor Snow, the Celtics’ team reporter. “They know their roles, they share the ball, they’re very consistent.”

CJ McCollum Praises Celtics Depth

New Orleans Pelicans guard CJ McCollum relayed a similar message to Simmons’. He named-dropped multiple members of Boston’s rotation when discussing how talented the Celtics are.

“That’s a championship-caliber team; they’re battled tested,” McCollum said. “They got a lot of different weapons; obviously, they’ve got two-headed monsters, but then they’ve got Malcolm Brogdon. They’ve got shooters all around them. White can shoot the ball. Horford can shoot the ball. [Grant] Williams can shoot it. So, they got a lot of different weapons that can hurt you. They got a taste of a potential championship, right? So, I think that’s the greed, that’s the hunger in them now to try to get back to that point.”

CJ McCollum: Celtics Have HUNGER to Get Back to NBA Finals | Celtics vs PelicansBOSTON, MA — New Orleans Pelicans star CJ McCollum was interviewed following the Celtics 125-114 win over the New Orleans on Wednesday night. NOLA was without stars Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram, and Boston took care of business to notch their fourth straight win. The Celtics will have a quick turnaround and face the Brooklyn…2023-01-12T05:00:10Z

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