After over four months of waiting, the Celtics are BACK and hold a 59-57 lead over the Philadelphia 76ers. Although, fans might not recognize them all that much. Today marks the unofficial Celtics debut for eight new players.
This might be Kristaps Porzingis’ team
Speaking of, Kristaps Porzingis absolutely RULES. Boston’s new Employee No. 8 did not take long at all to make his presence felt and capture the attention of the Garden faithful. In just one half of play, he’s done it all. Dunks, blocked shots, threes, dimes, all of it — color me impressed.
Derrick White ↗️ Kristaps Porzingis ↘️— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) October 8, 2023
You love to see it pic.twitter.com/toLdo5tyL1
Porzingis finished the half with 13 points, three rebounds, an assist, and a block on perfect 4-4 shooting.
It looks like Joe Mazzulla is all-in on trust
There’s been tons of speculation surrounding what Boston’s rotation will look like this season, with so many new additions to the reserves. More specifically, fans and media members have been wondering who the first few guys off of the bench would be.
Tonight, it was Jrue Holiday (who doesn’t count because he’ll likely be a starter this year), Payton Pritchard, Sam Hauser, and Luke Kornet. The non-Holiday trio is comprised of guys that Mazzulla feels he can trust, as he used both Hauser and Kornet quite a bit last season — and sparingly used Pritchard when Boston’s other guards were out.
It wouldn’t be surprising if he rolled with those three guys for the early part of the season, solely because of trust.
Payton Pritchard is ready for his shot
All of the things that his teammates were saying at training camp this week are proving to be true. Pritchard certainly looks like a guy who never wants to be glued to the bench ever again.
After inking a $30 million extension earlier today, the 25-year-old looked extremely comfortable as an initiator for the Cs so far. He was aggressive in his X minutes in the first half. Pritchard drilled three of his five attempts prior to the break, all of them from long range (including one and-1 buzzer beater in the first quarter).
If these first 24 minutes of basketball are any indicator, Pritchard should serve as a great spark off of Boston’s bench.