Boston Celtics: Yahoo ponders if Pritchard is outperforming Kemba

Boston Celtics (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Boston Celtics (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

As the Boston Celtics added another loss to their record and dropped to 12-10, the same sinking feeling that Hardwood Houdini has been feeling all season–and even dating back to this past offseason–is rearing its ugly head.

If it weren’t for the Eastern Conference being pretty bad in 2020-21, the Cs would have dropped to the postseason’s lower half of the totem pole. Fortunately for Celtics fans (and unfortunately for those hoping the “least-ern conference” label had been shed), they held onto home-court advantage because the Indiana Pacers couldn’t get past the Utah Jazz.

Anyway, I never addressed that sinking feeling I mentioned. Well, I have in the past, but I’ll mention it again here due to recent events: Kemba Walker was a direct roadblock to a Boston Celtics win.

It’s year two of his deal, and yet there is a swarm of memes likening Kemba to Master Splinter and the “Jays” (Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum) and Marcus Smart serving as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle counterparts.

The idea that Walker is already being led to his twilight when he is a 30-year-old undersized point guard is a frightening idea.

What’s even more frightening is that Yahoo was able to make a case for Payton Pritchard being a superior player to Walker this season:

"1. Payton Pritchard is having a better season than Kemba Walker.Are we getting ahead of ourselves here? Maybe. But Walker still can’t find his stroke. The Celtics point guard is shooting a career-low 35.7% on the season after scoring 14 points on 4-for-20 shooting Sunday and failing to make a single 2-pointer (0-for-9 from inside the arc).Meanwhile, Pritchard continues to play like he belongs on an NBA floor. The rookie dropped 12 points on 11 fewer shots than Walker (4-for-9) and hit a couple clutch 3-pointers to help Boston get back into the game in the third quarter. He’s shooting just below 50% on the season as he eyes the elusive 50-40-90 campaign."

Yahoo Sports, you may be right…and I may be crazy.

But I agree. Relative to expectations, Pritchard has blown Walker away. But he also has been defending his position better, converting on shot attempts at a higher rate, and dishing out just one fewer dime in per-36 extrapolations…and only 1.5 fewer assists in general.

Of course, Walker could still be easing in following his latest bout with knee issues, but at the same token, that knee could remain an issue for him throughout the duration of his deal.

This situation is one to monitor as the Boston Celtics mull their options at the trade deadline. Danny Ainge wants shooting with size, so perhaps Walker’s bloated salary can be used as a means to acquire it.

Next. 3 potential landing spots for Romeo Langford. dark