“Payton Pritchard Shares Amusing Insight on Celtics’ Playoff Success in 2024”

“Payton Pritchard Shares Amusing Insight on Celtics’ Playoff Success in 2024”

Boston Celtics backup point guard Payton Pritchard is just happy to have some playing time this postseason.


Celtics, Payton Pritchard, Pritchard Celtics, Jayson Tatum, Heat 

On Wednesday evening, Jayson Tatum and the Boston Celtics officially punched their ticket to the second round of the 2024 NBA playoffs with a thrashing of the Miami Heat in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference first round, exacting some revenge on (what was left of) a squad that sent them home in 2023. Tatum didn’t necessarily have a dominant series from a stat perspective but didn’t need to, as the Celtics used a balanced offensive attack and a suffocating defense to quickly send home a Miami squad operating without both Jimmy Butler and Terry Rozier.

One person who has emerged as a reliable contributor this season for the Celtics off of the bench is backup point guard Payton Pritchard, who has seen increased minutes following the departures of Malcolm Brogdon and Marcus Smart this past offseason.

Recently, Pritchard–who had some strong moments in the series vs the Heat–was asked about what has changed from last year to this year in terms of finding success, and his answer was bluntly honest–and hilarious.

“I mean, I didn’t get to play last year, so that’s probably the difference,” said Pritchard, via Noa Dalzell of CelticsBlog on X, the social media platform formerly referred to as Twitter. “I was watching rather than out here playing, so that’s the difference.”

Indeed, Pritchard didn’t have a lot of opportunities in the 2023 playoffs, as the Celtics’ guard rotation was solidified with Malcolm Brogdon, Marcus Smart, and Derrick White. The fact that they replaced Holiday and Smart with just one player at the guard position in Jrue Holiday meant increased minutes for Pritchard this season, and the former Oregon Ducks star has seized the opportunity, to say the least.

Can the Celtics finally hoist Banner 18?

The Celtics have been on deep playoff runs in five out of the last seven postseasons and are hoping to finally break through this year and win their first championship since the days of Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett back in 2008. Throughout the course of the year, the Celtics were the best team in the NBA by a country mile, finishing the year with 64 wins, a total that probably could have been more if Boston had more incentive to try hard to win games down the stretch.

In Game 4 of the series vs Miami, the Celtics received a blow when it was announced that Kristaps Porzingis–who was a large part of the diversification of their offense this year–had sustained a calf injury and would likely miss the entirety of the second round. However, the Celtics still have an immense amount of depth and a reliable center in Al Horford who can at least somewhat replicate Porzingis’ ability to stretch the floor and protect the rim on defense.

It’s unlikely that the Celtics–barring any more injures–will receive much of a test on their way to the NBA Finals, especially considering how much more mature the team seems as compared to prior years. However, in order to break through and win the championship, it’s likely that Boston will need Porzingis back in the fray.

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