Payton Pritchard sends true hooper message after Boston Celtics regular season finale

Washington Wizards v Boston Celtics
Washington Wizards v Boston Celtics / Brian Fluharty/GettyImages

Payton Pritchard sounded supremely confident in his own abilities following yet another gem of a performance during the Boston Celtics' regular season finale on April 14, aka Mike Gorman Day -- but he also sounded like someone unsatisfied until the real job, raising Banner 18, is done.

Following a 38-point, 12-assist, nine-rebound gem against the Washington Wizards in a 132-122 victory with none of the team's top six players active, Pritchard gave a true hooper answer when asked if his four 20+ point outings in his last six games has boosted his confidence ahead of the postseason.

"I already knew I could do this on a nightly basis, but you have a team with as much talent as we have, you have to do other things to help (with) winning," Pritchard said (h/t Inside The Celtics). "So, this doesn't do anything for me. It's a great performance, but ultimately, I'm here to win a championship. And whatever's asked of me, I'll do that."

Payton Pritchard can change narrative, force himself to call it 'Boston Celtics' top seven' in playoffs

We always talk about the Celtics' top six (Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Derrick White, Jrue Holiday, Kristaps Porzingis, Al Horford) and the stay-ready group with a clear delineation between the two units.

Perhaps Pritchard can detonate that narrative by continuing his dominant run in the playoffs in key moments off the bench.

During the 2022-23 season, Pritchard's production seemed to tail off with Marcus Smart and Malcolm Brogdon both ahead of him on the depth chart. That Mazzulla has been able to survive their losses while overseeing a notable rise in production from "Fast PP" speaks volumes to his own coaching abilities and the connection he's been able to form with his new seventh man by simply trusting him to play his game.

Could that be a game-changing development in the playoffs? Time will tell. But it seems a lot more plausible now than it at nearly any other point in Pritchard's Cs tenure.

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