Payton Pritchard dribbles the ball

Pregame Post-Ups: Pritchard, Nesmith are Prepared for Opportunities

Tuesday, April 27 - Thunder at Celtics

Pregame – Pritchard, Nesmith are Well-Prepared Rooks

The last thing any Celtics fan should worry about with regard to rookies Payton Pritchard and Aaron Nesmith are their work ethic and level of preparation. That is according to Brad Stevens, who spoke briefly of the rookies ahead of tonight’s matchup with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Asked of Pritchard specifically, Stevens stated, “He’s done a good job of being ready, and for a guy that’s as young as he is as far as years in the league, his work ethic is pretty darn special and very consistent.”

The coach then continued discussing Pritchard while making sure to include Nesmith in the same regard.

“You can tell when we’re going through walk-through – and I would include Aaron in that – both of them are well beyond their years at their focus, attention to detail, readiness,” Stevens said. “I don’t go into games concerned about that with those two guys.”

Those are comforting words considering that each rookie will be called upon to play a significant role for the team in the coming days.

Pritchard, in particular, should see a spike in minutes as the Celtics play without starting point guard Kemba Walker for at least the next two games. Walker is sidelined with a left oblique strain, which leaves Marcus Smart, Pritchard and Tremont Waters as the only available point guards on the team.

Boston will also be without Jayson Tatum for at least tonight’s game, as he sits out with a left ankle impingement. His absence on the wing will bump Nesmith up on the depth chart.

While the C’s are missing 40 percent of their starting lineup tonight, they at least know that their two rookies will be prepared when it comes to understanding their roles and the scouting report for the other team. Such preparation has led to success for Pritchard since the start of the season, and it has been paying off for Nesmith recently as well, as his play has improved and his playing time has become more consistent during the month of April.

- Marc D'Amico

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