Brian Bahr / Brian Babineau / David Butler II
Michael Jordan? LeBron James? Kareem Abdul-Jabbar? Too obvious for Jaylen Brown, who preferred to take a wacky name out of his hat to designate the GOAT of the NBA.
If they did not have the chance to access the last NBA Finals, the Celtics did not have the right to a much longer offseason than Miami or Los Angeles. With only 88 days of rest in the legs, the men of Brad Stevens have indeed already resumed the competition, and experience all the difficulties in the world to hang victories since.
Bucks in extremis winners on opening night thanks to an ubiquitous game-winner by Jayson Tatum, they then chained two defeats against direct competitors that are the Nets and the Pacers. A reaction of pride was inevitably expected on the night of Tuesday to Wednesday, while Boston again crossed swords with Indiana.
As often worn by their two young stars, Jayson Tatum (27 points) and Jaylen Brown (20 points), the C’s have returned to a neutral balance sheet, again not without difficulty (116-111). A surprise guest, however, came to blacken the stats sheet, namely rookie Payton Pritchard. His 10 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists in 27 minutes made the happiness of Brown in particular, who split a prestigious compliment for him.
Payton? It’s the GOAT, man. He came into play and brought confidence to the floor. We definitely needed a spark off the bench, and Payton did everything we could expect of him, and more tonight.
Product of the Oregon University, the frail back selected in 26th position of the last Draft makes a more than solid debut in the league. Well installed in the rotation of his team, he remained on a first good outing at 13 points in the Bankers Life Fieldhouse Arena. His coach did not fail to greet him also the pretty form of his talented leader.
Brad Stevens says Payton Pritchard “has really stood out with his ability to pick things up on the fly.” Coach says Pritchard has played off the ball more than expected, and he may have the ball in his hands more often moving forward.
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) December 27, 2020
Brad Stevens says Payton Pritchard “really stood out with his ability to come in and get right into the beat.” The manager says that Pritchard is playing more ballless than expected, and that he could end up with the ball in his hands more and more often in the future.
Favorite NCAA scorer, Pritchard came to the NBA with the same confidence that he has always had. His shooting percentages are affected, with shooting averages of 59.1% and 55.6% at 3 points over his first 4 games in the top flight. He nevertheless manages to keep his head on his shoulders, and above all wants to help his franchise through the energy he brings.
I think my ease with the ball allows me to increase the speed of the game and find solutions when the team is struggling. I hope to keep doing that and setting a tempo when I come on the pitch, because I think it creates even more open shots for our guys, and it saves us time on the clock rather than to let it flow.
Before he can possibly claim the GOAT title one day, Payton Pritchard still has a very long way to go. Jaylen Brown and the Celtics seem to have adopted the rookie anyway.