Payton Pritchard: Season Savior

k-factory

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It’s in the C’s best interest to see if they can unlock the shooter in Pritchard by this post-season. If they do that’s a great weapon to drop in if needed despite short rotations.
If he doesn’t make progress then it’s not a huge loss and his minutes likely get replaced next year.
 

HomeRunBaker

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It’s in the C’s best interest to see if they can unlock the shooter in Pritchard by this post-season. If they do that’s a great weapon to drop in if needed despite short rotations.
If he doesn’t make progress then it’s not a huge loss and his minutes likely get replaced next year.
Pritchard figures to really struggle in a playoff series where defensive game planning is paramount. These later season games against teams going through the motions or waiting on the playoffs are when he’s more likely to be able to get his shots off. I wouldn’t expect that to be the case in the playoffs [/cuban] and for that reason I don’t see him playing much as we go 8-deep with Grant, White and Theis off the bench.
 

benhogan

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Pritchard figures to really struggle in a playoff series where defensive game planning is paramount. These later season games against teams going through the motions or waiting on the playoffs are when he’s more likely to be able to get his shots off. I wouldn’t expect that to be the case in the playoffs [/cuban] and for that reason I don’t see him playing much as we go 8-deep with Grant, White and Theis off the bench.
Meh, Theis. He's looked less than great. I guess 10 minutes of him screening and physical defense is all we can expect
 

NomarsFool

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Whether #8 is Theis, Nesmith (dark horse), or PP in the playoffs is very unknown to me. I think PP might get hunted in the playoffs, but not sure if teams really game plan against the number 8 player on the roster - no idea.
 

lovegtm

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Whether #8 is Theis, Nesmith (dark horse), or PP in the playoffs is very unknown to me. I think PP might get hunted in the playoffs, but not sure if teams really game plan against the number 8 player on the roster - no idea.
He'll get hunted, but not all teams have the personnel to hunt that matchup across all their lineups.m, so he'll probably be playable for 10-15 mins/game, depending on opponent.
 

k-factory

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White turning out to be a terrible shooter is what’s going to expand Pritchard’s minutes down the stretch. He’s shown a bit more toughness on D lately too. Last 2 games he’s been a +9 and +14 to White’s -6 and -4.
The team is obviously better off with White figuring it out and staying on the floor but Ime probably has to hedge here. Just wish PP were taking better advantage of it with his shooting which has not been stellar either but his confidence and awareness seem to be growing.
I still contend we will need PP’s sniper role in the playoffs - seems too late for Nesmith now to build that role. And the team defense and PP’s on-ball improvements should mitigate the hunt risk a bit.
 

Deathofthebambino

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I just want to say that PP has been working his ASS off on defense over the last month or so. He's had notable possessions down low against much bigger guys where he didn't allow himself to get pushed around, he's gotten much better at staying in front of guys on the perimeter. He'll always be short, and if a guy like Klay just shoots over him, you live with that, but for the most part, IMO, he hasn't been anywhere near the negative on defense he was early in the season, and at times, neutral to a positive contributor on that end.

Playoffs may be a different game, but watch him on defense tonight. I've been super impressed lately.
 

Eddie Jurak

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I just want to say that PP has been working his ASS off on defense over the last month or so. He's had notable possessions down low against much bigger guys where he didn't allow himself to get pushed around, he's gotten much better at staying in front of guys on the perimeter. He'll always be short, and if a guy like Klay just shoots over him, you live with that, but for the most part, IMO, he hasn't been anywhere near the negative on defense he was early in the season, and at times, neutral to a positive contributor on that end.

Playoffs may be a different game, but watch him on defense tonight. I've been super impressed lately.
He had a amazing post move a couple of games ago, almost reminiscient of a 6'0" McHale. Right at the 30 second mark below.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8qW3c7x9g2A
 

Imbricus

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Playoffs may be a different game, but watch him on defense tonight. I've been super impressed lately.
He gets knocked for his defense, understandably, but he does do a few things well. He can stay in front of his man (better than last year) and I think he surprises a few big men when they switch onto him away from the basket and expect to get the ball and back him down; he gets really aggressive to try to keep a pass from being thrown in and, if they do manage to get the ball, he bangs bodies to keep them away from the rim.

He did screw up in a game recently when he gambled on a steal and his man got by him on a drive -- he's just not quick enough to recover if someone blows past. Also, he's susceptible to big guys just shooting over him, and if someone does get the ball close to the basket, forget it. He doesn't even really contest half of those.
 

Cesar Crespo

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His D and passing are improved over last year. With that said, his game is still pretty limited and any improvement he makes will probably be incremental. Trying to see a path for him to get more minutes on the C's (or a big pay day in 2 years). That involves him taking a non incremental leap in playmaking and/or quickening his release. I think the only thing that holds him back from being a great to elite 3 point shooter is volume. He has the accuracy part down.

First 18 games: .213/.233/1.000, 8.8 mpg, 1.7 points, 1.1 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 0.0 steals, 0.7 TO. 7/30 from 3.
Last 42 games: .444/.413/1.000, 14.9 mpg, 6.9 points, 1.9 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 0.4 steals, 0.5 TO. 62/150 from 3.

Last year, he was 102/248 from 3, .411. So over his last 42, he's been shooting at last years pace. He's at 8.3 3PA/36 his year, he was at 7.0/36 last year. With more playing time, I'd guess the 8.3 3PA/36 doesn't hold up.

His assist % last year was 13.3%. It's up to 21.0% this year. Given the lack of playing time, it's hard to tell if that's a significant improvement, SSS noise, or different role. Probably a combo of all of them. With a little more improvement in the area, he could be passable/usable at point for a few minutes a game.

Last 13 games: .500/.431/1.000, 16.5 mpg, 7.5 points, 2.1 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 0.5 steals, 0.5 TO. 22/51 from 3.

His per 36 last year: 14.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 1.1 steals, 0.3 blocks, 1.5 TO.
HIs per 36 this year: 14.6 points, 4.6 rebounds, 5.1 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.2 blocks, 1.6 TO.

Mostly the same guy via the box score too, minus the uptick in passing. His shot selection has changed slightly as well. Last year, 28.6% of his shots were from within 10 feet and 12.2% were from 10'-3pt. 59.3% were from 3. This year, 18.4% of his shots are from within 10 feet and 19.1% are from 10'-3pt. 62.5% were from 3. Last year, 84.3% of his 3s were assisted. This year, 73.9% are. Last year, he hit 44.7% of his corner 3s (15.3% of 3PA). This year, he's hitting 53.3% (16.7% of 3PA).

For reference, Grant Williams was at 44.6% from the corner last year (43.4% of 3PA). He's at 49.0% this year (45.1% of 3PA). 4.1 3PA/36 last year, 5.2 3PA/36 this year.

Non corner 3s this year: PP 53/150, .353. GW 46/124, .371.
From corner: PP 16/30, GW 50/102.
 

TripleOT

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I almost got off the Pritchard bandwagon. Almost.

He couldn’t adjust to short minutes, and shot only 28% from three when playing 9 minutes or less. When used for 10 minutes or more, he’s at 40% from deep.

Now that he seems to have a role as a fourth quarter shot maker, maybe Ime can also use him the minute his team comes up empty a couple of times against a zone. Whenever the Cs get rolling on offense early and grab ahold of a game early, a zone is coming. Especially in the first substitution six minutes in. when Tatum and AL sit and White and Grant come in, that lineup doesn’t have enough zone busting if Grant is off.
 

benhogan

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I almost got off the Pritchard bandwagon. Almost.

He couldn’t adjust to short minutes, and shot only 28% from three when playing 9 minutes or less. When used for 10 minutes or more, he’s at 40% from deep.

Now that he seems to have a role as a fourth quarter shot maker, maybe Ime can also use him the minute his team comes up empty a couple of times against a zone. Whenever the Cs get rolling on offense early and grab ahold of a game early, a zone is coming. Especially in the first substitution six minutes in. when Tatum and AL sit and White and Grant come in, that lineup doesn’t have enough zone busting if Grant is off.
Scal mentioned last night that the DS signing probably didn't initially help with PPs confidence.

Since Dec.1st PP's shot 41.3% from 3

He can be counted upon to spread the floor against the opposing teams' 2nd units
 

HomeRunBaker

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Scal mentioned last night that the DS signing probably didn't initially help with PPs confidence.

Since Dec.1st PP's shot 41.3% from 3

He can be counted upon to spread the floor against the opposing teams' 2nd units
Most importantly is that Pritchard didn’t have a defined role or really have any consistency with his rotations. Once taking over his current role and being placed in a consistent rotation spot he’s flourished. He’s a grinder and tough as F. Happy for the kid.
 

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I put this in the analysis thread, but makes more sense here:
I hadn't thought about Eddie House much in the last 13 years since he left the Celtics, but I had the rare opportunity (and desire) to watch the half-time show yesterday and then the various clips posted here. He seems like a pretty good comp for PP. Both guys 6'-1", similar weight (surprisingly to me, PP is listed at 15 lbs heavier than EH -- 195 vs 180). Both shoot around 40% from 3. Both are really better off as off-guards than true PG's, but are fine with the ball in their hands. Both show PER around 13.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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Replacing DS with White changed the whole trajectory of PP’s season because there are now zero lineups where you simply can’t play him as the second guard. For his first season and a half he couldn’t be anywhere near the floor for 20-30 minutes by default because of Kemba/DS.
 

Cellar-Door

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Replacing DS with White changed the whole trajectory of PP’s season because there are now zero lineups where you simply can’t play him as the second guard. For his first season and a half he couldn’t be anywhere near the floor for 20-30 minutes by default because of Kemba/DS.
yep, having two big excellent defenders who can play point means you can afford a small SG who isn't much on defense (effort is nice, but he needs to be hidden on the worst guy usually).
 

benhogan

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Replacing DS with White changed the whole trajectory of PP’s season because there are now zero lineups where you simply can’t play him as the second guard. For his first season and a half he couldn’t be anywhere near the floor for 20-30 minutes by default because of Kemba/DS.
Good point.

also putting PP out there at the beginning of the 2nd quarter almost guarantees he's playing against 2nd stringers
 

DGreenwood

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That pic has me wondering exactly what the Celtics locker room layout is. Who sits next to who? Is that info readily available anywhere?

i don't know how I envisioned it but PP between Al and Kornet is not it.
 

benhogan

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Something to keep an eye on is PP's 3pt efficiency from the Corner.

SSS alert but he's been exceptional from the corner (45% last season, 57% this year)
 

Saints Rest

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That pic has me wondering exactly what the Celtics locker room layout is. Who sits next to who? Is that info readily available anywhere?

i don't know how I envisioned it but PP between Al and Kornet is not it.
Maybe its a tall/short/tall/short alternation so people don't bump into each other.
More likely it's a star/scrub/star/scrub alternating methodology going back to when media gathered in front of lockers for interviews.
 

TripleOT

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So many knowledgeable basketball fans on this board have claimed over and over that Payton Pritchard is too flawed a player to be a key contributor to a contending team. He can’t do this. He can’t do that. He’s too slow. He’s too small. He can’t create his own offense.

Well in Game two of the Nets series, PP did a little bit of everything that many have claimed he couldn’t do in high leverage minutes. Four huge rebounds. Competitive defense. Huge shotmaking. Offense setting on that high set with the Jays. He was a team leading plus 15 in 16 minutes, going 5-7, all twos, for 10 points.
 

Lazy vs Crazy

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For this one game at least, he passed White on the depth chart. 15 minutes and closing while White was 13 minutes and benched in the second half.
 

Eddie Jurak

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So many knowledgeable basketball fans on this board have claimed over and over that Payton Pritchard is too flawed a player to be a key contributor to a contending team. He can’t do this. He can’t do that. He’s too slow. He’s too small. He can’t create his own offense.

Well in Game two of the Nets series, PP did a little bit of everything that many have claimed he couldn’t do in high leverage minutes. Four huge rebounds. Competitive defense. Huge shotmaking. Offense setting on that high set with the Jays. He was a team leading plus 15 in 16 minutes, going 5-7, all twos, for 10 points.
I think that's a bit of an exaggeration. However, I think the Brooklyn Nets are a good matchup for him - especially in the second half after they have had to work for a while. The Nets did not exploit him in the offensive end and he scored 8 points in the 4th quarter including a dagger stepback almost 3 late in the clock.

I think he'll have a long career as a useful NBA bench player, unless he improves the things he does well to otherworldly.
 

TheRooster

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Except someone wrote the other day that PP could/should only play when Kyrie was on the bench
 

Cellar-Door

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Except someone wrote the other day that PP could/should only play when Kyrie was on the bench
probably me, I didn't expect that the Nets would just not hunt him and Kyrie would be so passive. Game one Kyrie didn't even have to work that hard in that matchup, he got easy buckets every trip and Ime yanked Pritchard. Tonight Kyrie was passive, and they didn't force the switches often enough to get KD on Pritchard either, they just let him hang out on Claxton a lot, which is just bad offense.
 

RetractableRoof

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Tonight seemed like it was best case scenario in a lot of ways for PP. He got 16 solid minutes, including some (6+?) at the start of the 4th that enabled Tatum to get a breather and avoid him being gassed as he appeared to be late in game 1.

Also, as HRB said, it was Auerbachian, if you have hack-a-Clax as an out, PP guarding him is viable in some game scenarios.
 

TripleOT

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Tonight seemed like it was best case scenario in a lot of ways for PP. He got 16 solid minutes, including some (6+?) at the start of the 4th that enabled Tatum to get a breather and avoid him being gassed as he appeared to be late in game 1.

Also, as HRB said, it was Auerbachian, if you have hack-a-Clax as an out, PP guarding him is viable in some game scenarios.
Boston played a very clean quarter defensively in the fourth period that allowed them to have a bunch of fouls if they needed them on that mismatch. In the few times that the Nets managed to get Pritchard into the action on switches, he acquitted himself pretty well. He’s learned to use a low base and active hands to put up some resistance against bigger covers.
 

Saints Rest

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So many knowledgeable basketball fans on this board have claimed over and over that Payton Pritchard is too flawed a player to be a key contributor to a contending team. He can’t do this. He can’t do that. He’s too slow. He’s too small. He can’t create his own offense.

Well in Game two of the Nets series, PP did a little bit of everything that many have claimed he couldn’t do in high leverage minutes. Four huge rebounds. Competitive defense. Huge shotmaking. Offense setting on that high set with the Jays. He was a team leading plus 15 in 16 minutes, going 5-7, all twos, for 10 points.
This post could apply to Grant Williams as well. He too has been oft-maligned for the things he is not, while overlooking the things he does well.
 

lovegtm

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probably me, I didn't expect that the Nets would just not hunt him and Kyrie would be so passive. Game one Kyrie didn't even have to work that hard in that matchup, he got easy buckets every trip and Ime yanked Pritchard. Tonight Kyrie was passive, and they didn't force the switches often enough to get KD on Pritchard either, they just let him hang out on Claxton a lot, which is just bad offense.
Playing with the starters helps a lot in making him hard to exploit defensively. He was out there with Tatum/JB/Horford/Grant a lot, and that lineup can help him and recover, to the point that hunting the mismatch might not be worth it.

When it's him and Theis out there, things get dicier, and hunting is a lot easier.
 

benhogan

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So many knowledgeable basketball fans on this board have claimed over and over that Payton Pritchard is too flawed a player to be a key contributor to a contending team. He can’t do this. He can’t do that. He’s too slow. He’s too small. He can’t create his own offense.

Well in Game two of the Nets series, PP did a little bit of everything that many have claimed he couldn’t do in high leverage minutes. Four huge rebounds. Competitive defense. Huge shotmaking. Offense setting on that high set with the Jays. He was a team leading plus 15 in 16 minutes, going 5-7, all twos, for 10 points.
That's fair. PP has made it through the gauntlet (broken nose, DS fit, etc) this season. At this point, IME knows how to use him as a weapon to spread the floor with his shooting + added ball handling. Plus he can hide out defensively on the perimeter against Curry/Mills.
 

Strike4

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That's fair. PP has made it through the gauntlet (broken nose, DS fit, etc) this season. At this point, IME knows how to use him as a weapon to spread the floor with his shooting + added ball handling. Plus he can hide out defensively on the perimeter against Curry/Mills.
And sometimes it takes a game like this one to full flesh this out - playoff game, super intense defense, usual scorers locked down/struggling. The Celtics are really lucky to have not one but two really good players (Grant Williams) who don't fit the mold and so other teams kind of overlook them. They are players who have been told all their lives that they are too small or not talented enough for their roles, but have succeeded despite this. The way they do it is by staying fully within their skillset and not trying to do things they know from experience they will never be able to do (things that starting NBA players can do). But by staying within themselves, they are so good at knowing where they can use their skills to exploit opponents who take them for granted. Star players get away with taking plays off and faking it on defense - the PPs and GWs don't get a pass.

Of course the Nets had a plan for PP that was probably something like "don't let him get open for catch and shoot, but he's weak on defense so let's switch on him". He didn't take any three's, but:
  • He went at Patty Mills and got a baby stepback free throw line jumper. Knows Mills is too old to hang.
  • Went at Claxton for another baby stepback free throw line jumper. Knows Claxton is a rim protector.
  • Went at KD at the rim for a layup knowing he had 5 fouls and he was gassed.
  • Had a clear path to the rim and knew Nets would assume he would take a jumper, so instead he got a layup.
Nothing crazy, just knowing when to do what he's capable of doing.