Chris Forsberg

Crunching the numbers on Pritchard's bounce-back season with Celtics

Pritchard has blossomed into one of Boston's most reliable reserves.

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It really is wild to think just how much things have changed for Payton Pritchard since last season.

Frustrated by his role deep on Boston’s guard depth chart, Pritchard lobbied for a trade at the 2023 deadline, only to stick in Boston and play sparingly last March. 

A year later, with a (relatively) lucrative contract extension already inked, Pritchard is the only player on the Celtics roster to appear in every game this season and has made a notable impact for a team with the best record in basketball. 

Let’s crunch some of the numbers on Pritchard’s season:

Positive P

Good things happen whenever Pritchard is on the court. Last season he was the fourth guard on Boston’s depth chart. This season he’s third in the entire NBA in net rating.

The Celtics outscore opponents by 12.8 points per 100 possessions with Pritchard on the floor. Only teammates Derrick White and Sam Hauser (both +13.5) have better marks in the NBA.

Pritchard is also tied for eighth in the NBA with Boston posting an offensive rating of 121.4 during his floor time. Only White (122.8) and Jayson Tatum (122.4) have better marks on the Celtics. 

Pritchard has had a positive plus/minus in 43 of Boston’s 69 games. He’s been +10 or better in 28 of those contests. 

Rebound machine

It’s staggering how often the 6-foot-1 guard emerges from a scrum with an offensive rebound. Pritchard has an uncanny knack for helping on the glass at both ends of the court, but especially his ability to generate extra possessions by corralling offensive caroms.

Pritchard’s offensive rebound rate of 4.0 percent is the best among all qualifiers in the NBA at 6-foot-4 and under. Even opening it up to all players under 6-foot-7, his offensive rebound rate still ranks 15th overall among that group.

Pritchard’s 61 total offensive rebounds this year rank sixth on the team, which is not bad when three of the five players in front of him are big men (Luke Kornet, Al Horford, and Kristaps Porzingis). Pritchard has more offensive rebounds than Jayson Tatum (53) despite playing 866 fewer minutes this season.

Valuing the basketball

Even with a slight spike in his turnover percentage since the All-Star break, Pritchard remains one of the best point guards in the NBA in terms of ball security.

Pritchard’s turnover rate of 7.6 percent ranks third among all point guards, per Cleaning the Glass data. Only Tyrese Maxey (7.0) and Tyus Jones (7.2) have better marks.

Pritchard ranks eighth in the NBA in assist-to-turnover ratio at 4.08.

The Celtics generated 515 points off Pritchard assists over the previous two seasons and a total of 119 games overall. In 69 games this season, Pritchard assists have led to 495 total points.

Sneaky good at the rim

We all know how good Pritchard is with the 3-point shot. He’s shooting 38.9 percent on 4.5 attempts per game beyond the arc this season. But he’s quietly improved his finishing around the rim, maximizing some of those attempts when he gets to the hoop on transition opportunities.

Pritchard is shooting 70 percent (42 of 60) at the rim this season, ranking in the 88th percentile among all point guards, per Cleaning the Glass data. That’s a notable spike after shooting just 58 percent at the rim in his first three seasons as a pro.

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