NBA Villain Disrespects Celtics Guard Payton Pritchard

Payton Pritchard of the Boston Celtics.

Getty Payton Pritchard of the Boston Celtics.

Despite starting their Eastern Conference Finals battle against the Miami Heat, the Boston Celtics are still recovering from the previous round, having had only one day of rest. Their series against the Milwaukee Bucks went the distance before the Celtics took care of business in Game 7.

The Celtics nailed 22 three-pointers in that game, setting the record for most threes ever made in a Game 7 in NBA history. While Grant Williams was the story of the night, hitting seven of his 18 threes, Payton Pritchard also played well.

On the May 16 edition of ESPN’s First Take, Stephen A. Smith, Molly Qerim, JJ Redick, and Patrick Beverley discussed Milwaukee’s defensive mishaps that led to Boston’s red-hot shooting night. However, the conversation quickly turned disrespectful, as Beverley could not pronounce Pritchard’s name correctly.

“They even put two on the ball with Peetrick,” Beverley began. “If you see some of the highlights, they literally put two on the ball with the guy Peetrick.”

It's Stephen A. vs. Pat Bev vs. JJ Redick talking Celtics-Bucks Game 7 on First Take 🍿It's Stephen A. vs. Pat Bev vs. JJ Redick talking Celtics-Bucks Game 7 on First Take 🍿 Stephen A. Smith, JJ Redick and Pat Beverley react to Jayson Tatum and the Boston Celtics' Game 7 win against the Milwaukee Bucks. #ESPN #NBA #FirstTake ✔️Subscribe to ESPN+ ✔️ Get the ESPN App: ✔️Subscribe to…2022-05-16T14:40:46Z

Smith and Redick were quick to correct Beverley, but the Minnesota Timberwolves point guard continued on, stating, “I don’t care how you say his name. Peetrick, Preetchard, Richard. I don’t care.”

Despite Beverley butchering Pritchard’s name, the young point guard did manage to put together a great showing in Game 7.

Pritchard’s Electric Game 7 Performance

With their backs against the wall in Game 7, Boston got big-time games from two of their young role players. Williams’ impressive night was well-documented, as he made history with his shooting numbers, but Pritchard’s play was severely underrated.

The Oregon product played just 17:01 on the night but managed to drop a crucial 14 points off the bench. He shot 5-for-7 from the field and 4-for-6 from three-point range, including a nasty step-back three over Bucks guard Jrue Holiday.

His 14 points marked a playoff-high for Pritchard, and it couldn’t have come at a better time. Derrick White shot just 1-for-10 from the field in Game 7, so having Pritchard’s production on offense gave Boston a massive boost.

However, Pritchard has since surpassed his playoff-high, reaching a new peak in Boston’s Game 1 loss to the Heat. Unfortunately, he was not nearly as efficient against Miami as he was in Game 7 vs. the Bucks.

Pritchard’s High-Volume Game 1

Boston’s starting point guard, Marcus Smart, was out for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals, so White got the start instead. In turn, Pritchard received the bulk of the guard minutes off the bench. He played 30:23 in Game 1 against the Heat.

In those minutes, Pritchard managed to score 18 points on 6-of-16 shooting from the field and 4-of-11 shooting from three-point range. His 16 shot attempts marked the third-highest total on the team. The only two players who took more shots were Jayson Tatum (21) and Jaylen Brown (17).

He also tied for the third-highest point total on the team with 18, a number also achieved by big man Robert Williams. Tatum (29) and Brown (24) led the team in scoring.

However, Pritchard’s high volume of shots did not result in a win for Boston, as they collapsed in the third quarter. Pritchard and the Celtics will have a chance to rectify their mistakes in Game 2 on Thursday, which will begin at 8:30 p.m. Eastern time.

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