Celtics Win Preseason Opener against 76ers with Impressive Performance by Payton Pritchard

Kristaps Porzingis Shines in Preseason Game, Jayson Tatum Struggles

In the opening preseason game, Kristaps Porzingis showcased his skills by making 5 out of 7 shots and scoring a total of 17 points. On the other hand, Jayson Tatum struggled, going 3 for 13 from the field. Jrue Holiday also had a tough game, making only 2 of his 10 shots.

Observations from the Game

  • Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla emphasized that his starting lineup decisions shouldn’t be overanalyzed for the preseason. Holiday, despite being an All-Star point guard, came off the bench.
  • The starting lineup consisted of Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Al Horford, Derrick White, and Porzingis. While most of the Celtics players had been training together for weeks, Holiday joined the team more recently.
  • Holiday still played significant minutes in the first half, indicating that he wasn’t being limited. It is expected that he will eventually find his way into the starting lineup.

“I think it’s just about time,” Holiday said. “Time on the court, getting a chance to play with them and see what’s going to happen, see where I’m supposed to be and where I’m going to be getting the ball, and things like that.”

  • Porzingis stood out as the best player on the floor for Boston during the first half. His length and defensive skills troubled the 76ers, and his collaboration with Tatum yielded positive results.
  • Porzingis expressed his excitement about playing alongside Tatum, emphasizing the unpredictability of their two-man game and the challenges it presents to opponents.
  • Pritchard, who joined the game in the first quarter, had a slow start but gained momentum by making key shots in the second quarter. He is expected to benefit from the open looks created by Boston’s strong lineup.

Mazzulla spoke highly of Pritchard’s mindset and professionalism, highlighting his role in providing the team with toughness, physicality, and the right mindset.

  • Mazzulla seemed intent on ending the game on a positive note for his starters, allowing them to play deep into the third quarter. Brown concluded the game with a 9-0 run that secured the lead and prompted Mazzulla to pull out the starters.
  • Tatum struggled offensively, with a 3-for-13 shooting performance, including a missed dunk attempt. Mazzulla praised Tatum’s physical play and encouraged him to continue making the right decisions on the court.

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