During the 2019-20 college basketball season, Payton Pritchard was the best point guard in the nation but still the questions persisted.
Is he capable of playing in the NBA?
Well, the answer is yes.
The West Linn native has played in each Boston Celtics game this season averaging 8.6 points, 2.0 rebounds and 3.1 assists in 23.1 minutes per game but his largest impact came Wednesday evening against defending Eastern Conference Champion Miami Heat.
With less than a second remaining, Pritchard got the offensive rebound on Marcus Smart's missed layin and put it back to give Boston a two-point lead with 0.2 seconds remaining.
The Celtic would win 107-105 with Pritchard's bucket being the difference.
Yes, it was just a putback but that he was even in for the last offensive possession of the game showed how much Brad Stevens and the Celtics have faith in Pritchard.
Ducks and Celtics fans celebrated the game-winner accordingly.
Earlier this week, Pritchard's best game came Monday against Toronto: 23 points on 8-of-13 shooting from the bench with eight assists in the Celtics’ 126-114 win. With the performance, he became only the second Celtics rookie ever to drop 23 or more points and eight more assists in his first 42 games joining Larry Bird.
With starting point guard Kemba Walker out for an undisclosed amount of time with a knee injury, Pritchard could continue see plenty of opportunities to play his way into the Celtics rotation even when the former All-Star returns. Pritchard's only competition is Jeff Teague who has been declining for seasons.