Joe Mazzulla Sounds Off on Payton Pritchard’s Role in Celtics Rotation

Payton Pritchard of the Boston Celtics.

Getty Payton Pritchard of the Boston Celtics.

The Boston Celtics have gotten off to a hot 8-3 start to the season. However, not every player has gotten a chance to show off their skills. Young point guard Payton Pritchard has been shoved to the back of the rotation.

But with Malcolm Brogdon’s recent injury, Pritchard should be getting more opportunities. Ahead of the Celtics tilt against the Denver Nuggets, head coach Joe Mazzulla said he trusts Pritchard to stay ready and perform when his number is called.

“I think a lot of it has to do with the individual,” Mazzulla said. “Payton is a guy that’s always going to be ready…. Just small moments of affirmation… Also, for Payton, I trust you to be ready because of your work ethic and because of your mindset.”

Joe Mazzulla Gives a Malcolm Brogdon Injury UpdateJoe Mazzulla said Malcolm Brogdon is day-to-day with hamstring tightness and is comfortable with his recovery. He also said Grant Williams will continue to replace Derrick White in the starting lineup. —————————————– – #celtics #NBA #CelticsCLNS The CLNS Media Network is the leading provider for video/audio content. CLNS is a fully credentialed member of the…2022-11-11T22:30:54Z

So far this season, Pritchard has only appeared in four of Boston’s 11 games, playing 7.3 minutes per contest. That number would mark the lowest minutes per game of his career. He played 19.2 in his rookie season and 14.1 last year.

Pritchard is averaging just 2.8 points, 1.0 rebounds, and 1.3 assists per game on 30.8% shooting from the field and 28.6% shooting from behind the three-point line.

Mazzulla Delivers Brogdon Injury Update

Brogdon exited Bostons’ recent game against the Detroit Pistons. He was ruled out at halftime due to hamstring tightness, and the Celtics’ injury report listed him as out for the game against Denver as well.

That being said, Mazzulla said that he should be able to return “sooner [rather] than later” and is considered day-to-day.

“Just day-to-day,” Mazzulla said. “Just playing it by how he goes each way. He seems to be comfortable with his rehab and will probably be back sooner than later.”

The veteran point guard, who was acquired via trade this past offseason, has been crucial to the Celtics’ success on both sides of the ball. He’s averaged 13.7 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 3.5 assists so far this season, all while shooting 47.7% from the floor and 36.8% shooting from behind the three-point arc.

Brogdon Injury Labeled as ‘Big Deal

While this is the first time Brogdon has dealt with an injury this season, he’s been known to have troubles in the past. Last year, he only appeared in 36 games for the Indiana Pacers, and throughout the course of his career, he’s only played in more than 60 games twice.

During a recent segment on NBC Sports Boston, John Tomase said that he thinks this hamstring issue could be a big deal moving forward.

“If I have to pick one, I’m going to say big deal,” Tomase said. “Because this was the fear all along. He’s been hurt a lot in his career. And, I look at him kind of similarly to Rob Williams, where you say, ‘can you really count on him to make it through four postseason series?’ Phil, I’m not sure you can, and we’re already getting a little evidence of that right now.”

With Pritchard at the ready, Boston has the depth to make up for Brogdon’s absence, but getting him back to full health should be at the top of their priority list.

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