The Boston Celtics are set to take on the Golden State Warriors for the second time this season on January 19.
Having not won against the Warriors since game three of the NBA Finals on June 8, the Celtics will be hoping to put on a solid showing and prove they’re capable of hanging with the current champions.
When speaking to the media following a January 18 practice session, Jaylen Brown urged his team to forget what happened last season, noting that Boston’s isn’t the same team, and they’re not the same players due to the improvements in their individual games.
“The reality is, you remember it, you learn from it, you grow from it, but you let it go at the same time and you move forward. We’re not the same team as last year, they’re not the same team as last year. Some of us are not the same players we were last year. I’m not the same player I was last year…This year, our offense has been able to take leaps by understanding the game, seeing the game, and understanding what they want to take away,” Brown said.
Brown was arguably the Celtics’ best player during their NBA Finals series against the Warriors, ending the six-game contest with averages of 23.5 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 3.7 assists per game while shooting 43.1% from the field and 34% from the perimeter.
Warriors Rumored To Have Interest In Payton Pritchard
According to Masslive’s Brian Robb, the Warriors are among the interested parties currently keeping tabs on Payton Pritchard’s trade availability as we inch closer toward the February 9 trade deadline.
“Payton Pritchard’s lack of consistent playing time in the Celtics rotation has unsurprisingly led to a number of playoff teams inquiring about the availability of the reserve guard including the defending champion Golden State Warriors, league sources tell MassLive…Despite these overtures, the Celtics have shown no interest in trading the 25-year-old guard to this point, according to multiple sources, with Pritchard re-entering Boston’s rotation during the past week following Jaylen Brown’s injury,” Robb wrote on January 18.
Pritchard has struggled to carve out a role within the Celtics rotation this season, as Malcolm Brogdon’s off-season arrival has absorbed most of the minutes he was getting in the second half of last season. Still, Pritchard is a high-level insurance policy should one of the Celtics guard rotation be hit with injury.
Celtics Predicted To Stand Pat At The Trade Deadline
In a January 18 article from CelticsBlog’s Keith Smith, it was revealed that multiple sources around the NBA are expecting the Celtics to stand pat around the trade deadline, with many expecting them to be players in the buy-out market instead.
“Various sources told CelticsBlog that they expect Boston to be a top destination on the buyout market. One source said, “They don’t need to make a trade. Why bother? They don’t need anything. Brad (Stevens) already gave Joe (everything he needs). And that Gallo (Danilo Gallinari) exception (Disabled Player Exception) will allow them to outspend everyone else for a buyout guy. They can let the deadline pass and then just pick off the best free agent or two for playoff depth. And vets will all want the Celtics because they can get paid and they can win,” Smith wrote.
The Celtics currently boast one of the deepest teams in the league and, as such, will feel no pressure to make any additions in the coming weeks; however, if they can find a way to improve their wing depth, they will likely explore the possibility.