Before their three-game trip to California, there wasn’t much to complain about when it came to the Boston Celtics. And even now, there still isn’t. A two-game losing streak isn’t the end of the world, and there’s plenty of time to bounce back from it.
One topic of conversation that will be important in the coming months is Payton Pritchard’s future in Boston. He’s not in the current rotation, and there doesn’t seem to be a pathway for him to be. According to Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report, the Celtics need to either give him more minutes or trade him.
“The 24-year-old needs a real shot to show what he can do,” Buckley said. “He has serious spark-plug potential if he could just find regular minutes. Those are hard to come by in a crowded Boston backcourt, but the Celtics should either entrust him with a more prominent role or send him to another team that will.”
With Marcus Smart, Derrick White, and Malcolm Brogdon ahead of him in the rotation, it’s been difficult for Pritchard to earn regular minutes. The 24-year-old guard has played well over the past two seasons, but there’s simply too much talent in front of him.
But just because Pritchard isn’t currently in the rotation doesn’t mean that he’s not a quality player. So far this season, he’s only appeared in 17 games for Boston and is playing 11.5 minutes per contest. However, over the course of his career, he’s averaged 6.7 points, 1.5 rebounds, and 1.2 assists on 43.2% shooting from the field and 40.7% shooting from behind the three-point line.
Celtics Urged to Upgrade Big Man Position
Buckley’s article was titled ‘Celtics Hot Takes 2 Months into 2022-23 NBA Season,’ and the concept of making a real decision on Pritchard’s future was one of them. The other was about Blake Griffin and whether or not the Celtics should ride with him for the rest of the season.
According to Buckley, the Celtics should consider upgrading the center position by the trade deadline.
“Blake Griffin and Luke Kornet have done what they can to hold things together, while Grant Williams has authored his strongest season yet,” Buckley wrote. “It’s not enough, though. The Celtics should be on the search for backup bigs between now and the trade deadline. It just might take care of this club’s lone shortcoming.”
Celtics Coach Ripped Into Team
But potential roster changes aside, the Celtics’ ran into a road bump during their West Coast road trip. And according to Jaylen Brown, head coach Joe Mazzulla talked some sense into them ahead of their game against the Los Angeles Lakers.
“Joe came in before the game and set the tone for us, told us that we needed to get our s*** together,” Brown said. “We started out the game great. I think we got off to a great start, were moving the ball. We got a little stagnant in the third quarter…We were down eight points, ten points, in the fourth quarter and was still able to come back and win. So that’s a tough and perfect way to close out the road trip.”