Boston Celtics (and former KU) guard Svi Mykhailiuk ends regular season on high note

Boston Celtics (and former KU) guard Svi Mykhailiuk ends regular season on high note

Có thể là hình ảnh về 3 người, mọi người đang chơi bóng rổ và văn bản

The Boston Celtics may have uncovered a seldom-used secret weapon to unleash on opponents during the 2024 NBA playoffs.

Former Kansas guard Svi Mykhailiuk, who was awarded just 9.4 minutes a game in 40 games during the just-completed regular season, hit an NBA-career-high six 3-pointers en route to a career-high-tying 26 points in Boston’s 132-122 regular-season ending victory over the Washington Wizards on Sunday at TD Garden in Boston.

He also had five rebounds and five assists in 37 minutes as Eastern Conference leader Boston wrapped up a 64-18 campaign. It was Mykhailiuk’s only double-digit scoring output of the season — one in which he averaged 3.4 points and 1.2 rebounds a game.

On Sunday the 6-foot-8, 195-pound native of Cherkasy, Ukraine, went 10-of-13 from the field and 6-of-8 from beyond the arc. For the season, he made 37.9% of his shots, including 36.0% of his 3-point attempts.

Fellow reserve guard Payton Pritchard took advantage of his own extended playing time, scoring 38 points in 44 minutes for the Celts.

“We knew we were going to have the opportunity to play a lot of minutes,” Mykhailiuk told after the game. The Celtics rested their starters Sunday.

“Everybody came prepared. Everybody was excited to get on the court and (get) playing time. Everybody wanted to win and finish the regular season on the right note — and start preparing for the playoffs,” Mykhailiuk added.

Boston Celtics (and former KU) guard Svi Mykhailiuk ends regular season on high  note

Of his torrid shooting Sunday, he told “I just took what the game gave me. I took some more shots, open shots, made some shots early. I feel like that gave me a little more confidence.”

Mykhailiuk, a 26-year-old, six-year NBA veteran who has played for seven teams, scored 12 points in the first quarter on 5-of-5 shooting. He became the only Boston player this season with a 12-point quarter on at least five attempts without a miss. He had the fans on their feet early, skying high for an alley-oop dunk off of a pass from Pritchard.

Mykhailiuk — he played at KU from the 2014-15 season through the 2017-18 campaign — is part of a group of Celts reserves nicknamed the “Stay Ready Crew,”

“I feel like it’s more of a mindset,” Mykhailiuk said of being ready during the rare occasions he has been called upon.

“You’ve got to understand that we have really good players — five, six all-stars. You’ve got to understand the bigger goal and see the bigger picture and come with that mindset and just come in, work and just mentally be prepared for whatever.”

Boston, which had the best record (by far) in the Eastern Conference, has a starting five of Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Kristaps Porzingis, Derrick White and Jrue Holiday with a stellar sixth man in Al Horford.

Coach Joe Mazzulla told that he has full confidence in Mykhailiuk, who is on a one-year deal with Boston worth $2,346,614. He’ll be a free agent again this upcoming offseason.

“When we asked Svi to come here (as a free agent), one of the things I told him was, ‘It’s going to be inconsistent at times. But because of how we play, we’re going to rely on you guys (reserves) to win us games, so the things you do daily are important.’

Payton Pritchard scores career-high 38 points in Celtics' 132-122 win over  Wizards | Sports |

“And he bought into that, and that was great … He’s done a lot of great things for us. I love his work ethic on a daily basis, and he helped us win games this year,” Mazzulla added.

Mykhailiuk said he’s grateful the coach was upfront with him regarding minutes all season.

“(Mazzulla) mentioned that during the season a lot and it makes you cautious and makes you understand that you actually have to be prepared at any time for whatever happens,” Mykhailiuk told “We understand that we are one of the best teams in the league and we have really big goals, so for me personally to help the team win, you’ve just always got to be prepared.”

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