Road games have not been kind to the Golden State Warriors throughout the 2022-23 season. The January 19 game at TD Garden against the Boston Celtics looked promising until it didn’t. Heading into the fourth quarter, the Warriors held a 89-82 lead over the Celtics. They were even up three points with under 30 seconds to play. That was until Boston’s Jaylen Brown knocked down his first 3-pointer of the night to tie the game at 106. The Warriors weren’t able to break the tie and then came up short in overtime, losing 121-118 in the Finals rematch.
After the loss Golden State Head Coach Steve Kerr spoke on his team’s defense on that crucial possession.
“I haven’t seen the replay yet but in that situation, the whole game plan is no threes,” Kerr explained. “And there was no timeout. They didn’t take a timeout, they just came down and played. That’s where the guys need to be able to decipher that on the fly.”
He went on to dismiss the notion that his team should’ve fouled in order to prevent Boston from taking a three, but didn’t let his players’ defense off the hook.
“What you can’t do is give up an open three. So the whole idea is switch everything and run them off the line and don’t let them line up a three,” Kerr said. “So we had a defensive breakdown that led to the opening.”
Warriors Amongst Teams ‘Inquiring’ About Celtics’ Payton Pritchard
While the Warriors were in Boston, one player that they did not get to see was Celtics guard Payton Pritchard. Pritchard has had a reduced role in Boston this season due to the team’s improved guard rotation with the addition of Malcolm Brogdon over the summer.
On January 18, MassLive’s Brian Robb reported that Golden State had “shown interest” in the 24-year-old.
“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,” Robb explained. “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.”
Pritchard could be a great fit with the Warriors. He’s certainly proven to be an NBA player when he’s gotten run with the Celtics. Unfortunately for him, that just isn’t happening with the team’s strong guard rotation. Throughout his three-year-career he’s averaged 6.5 points, 2.0 rebounds, and 1.7 assists per game, while 43.1% shooting from the field and 40.1% shooting from behind the 3-point line.
Kelly Olynyk Listed as Potential Warriors Trade Target
Golden State has been linked to yet another player who has worn Celtics’ green. The Athletic’s Anthony Slater pitched Kelly Olynyk, now of the Utah Jazz, as a potential trade target for the Warriors in a January 19 article.
“Olynyk makes $12.8 million this season in Utah and has a $3 million partial guarantee on his $12.2 million salary next season,” Slater wrote. “In theory, the short financial commitment is an appeal for the Warriors. They are facing a well-documented tax crunch and are uninterested in adding committed salary beyond this season, which eliminates many of the league’s other trade options.”
Slater explained that the Canadian sharpshooter would give the Warriors’ rotation a nice boost and hypothesized that he could give them useful playoff minutes off the bench.
Olynyk has appeared in 39 of the Jazz’s 48 games this season, playing 32.5 minutes each time. He’s averaging 12.2 points, 5 rebounds, and 3.3 assists, on 50.3% shooting from the field 41.3% from beyond the arc.