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Released from the bench by COVID surge, Payton Pritchard has a resurgence

 Payton Pritchard's minutes have almost been cut in half from the 19.2 MPG he saw in his rookie campaign. I have been among the many Celtics fans wondering why, after such a promising start to his NBA career, the 6'1" point guard has only averaged 10.1 minutes per game this season.


But with Boston facing the Knicks with a COVID-ravaged crew, Pritchard was released from captivity and made the most of it. He was on the floor for 28 minutes - scored 16 points on 6-of-10 from the field and 4-of-7 on treys - added three rebounds, three assists and one block.

He was also active on defense, often covering the red-hot Kemba Walker full-court in an attempt to slow him down. On offense, we know Payton can hit from anywhere, but it was his bank shot that brought back memories of the superb marksman, Sam Jones.

With Boston needing more scoring from the bench, both Josh Richardson (team-high 27 points, 64% FG) and Pritchard may need to see more time on the floor. Both subs push the ball at a rapid pace and can get blistering-hot at any given time. The 114-107 victory over New York was needed to bring The Green back to .500 ball, and P-Squared and JRich answered the call.


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