Boston Celtics’ no. 26 pick of the 2020 NBA draft, Payton Pritchard, has had quite a whirlwind NBA Summer League. He played the first three games and helped his team go undefeated and looks keen to take the 2021-22 NBA season by storm.
After the Celtics’ third consecutive win against the Orlando Magic, Payton Pritchard appeared to be done with the campaign, something which was expected to give the team’s other NBA stars some increased gametime. However, after dropping 92 points in Portland Pro-Am last Saturday, he is set to return for the championship tie against the Sacramento Kings.
A closer look at Payton Pritchard’s 2021 NBA Summer League stats for the Boston Celtics
In the three games that he played, the sophomore was by far the best player on the Boston Celtics’ roster despite the wealth of talent that the Celtics have. Apart from Payton Pritchard, the Celtics have the likes of Romeo Langford, Aaron Nesmith and Carson Edwards who have all managed to put in big performances so far. The Boston Celtics have a highest in the league shooting efficiency with 48% overall and around 40% from the three-point zone.
Pritchard has chipped in with 20.3 points, 8.7 assists, 4.7 rebounds and two steals per game and has been by far the standout player. His last appearance against the Magic included an elite three-point shooting display; He got four of his six attempts on target which also included a couple of long-range shots.
After expected to be one of the standout players on a talented roster, Payton Pritchard proved that he is too good for the Summer League. He was absent during the Celtics’ win over the Philadelphia 76ers and instead took part in the Philadelphia Pro-Am match. Recently, NBA veteran Isaiah Thomas scored 81 points during a Pro-Am game, something Pritchard easily topped with a 92-point performance that included a bunch of dominant 3-pointers.
He started just 4 games during his rookie year, and averaged 7.7 points, 2.4 rebounds and 1.8 assists whilst playing more than 19 minutes per game. While his stats might not have been elite, his work over the off-season and his recent performances are bound to result in increased gametime for the Boston Celtics in the coming campaign.
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While holding on to the starting SG spot might prove to be a challenge, especially considering Dennis Schroder’s arrival, Pritchard should be able to take his form to the NBA as well. His shooting looks thoroughly improved, and the recent matches have shown that Pritchard has the ability to consistently drive inside the paint as well. In such a scenario, a breakthrough 2020-21 NBA season might just be on the cards.