The Boston Celtics are falling in love with rookie Payton Pritchard.
The former Oregon Ducks star put on a show Tuesday when he made his NBA debut against the Philadelphia 76ers. Despite nursing a recently dislocated finger, Pritchard scored 16 points on 6-for-10 shooting while dishing out two assists and grabbing four boards.
The 76ers defense simply couldn’t stop him.
It was a solid outing for the 26th overall pick in last month’s draft, but one producer at NBC Sports Boston thought it’d be fun to throw up a chyron comparison of Pritchard’s first performance to 5x NBA All-Star Stephen Curry in his first preseason game.
And honestly, why wouldn’t they do this?
Not everyone got the joke.
One Celtics fan went on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Felger & Massarotti to share his two cents on the hilarious comparison.
“I’m a green teamer and these green teamers on NBC Sports Boston want to put up Payton Pritchard's first preseason game against Steph Curry’s first preseason game, like, what is going on here? Steph Curry, are you kidding me?"
The radio hosts looked shocked. “Did they actually do that? That’s embarrassing?” Massarotti said.
All it takes is one preseason game to see that Pritchard is obviously the next Splash brother. Plus, have you seen his insane dribbling routine?
In all seriousness, the 22-year old guard looked sharp just 11 days out of his first training camp and onto the NBA stage.
“Honestly, it was just trying to get in the flow of things,” Pritchard said following the game. “Obviously, it’s a little bit of a different game than the college level and this was my first time, so a little bit of jitters. So just really just trying to get a feel out there and that was pretty much it.
“It was awesome to be back out here again,” he said. “There’s nothing like a real game setting.”
But if you think Pritchard has actually ascended to the level of the Baby-Faced Assassin in his first pro debut, it’s time to take a deep look at yourself.