Celtics-Knicks takeaways: Pritchard, Benton impress in second preseason game originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
On the second night of a back-to-back, the Boston Celtics second unit shined in Monday’s preseason game against the New York Knicks.
C’s head coach Joe Mazzulla elected to give his starters the night off after they played most of Sunday’s preseason opener win over the Philadelphia 76ers. The lights at Madison Square Garden weren’t too bright for Boston’s bench, which held its own in a 114-107 win over New York’s starters.
Boston tied the score until the final minute with the help of point guards Payton Pritchard (21 points) and Dalano Banton (20 points). Svi Mykhailiuk also contributed 15 points.
The Knicks were led by Immanuel Quickley’s 21 points. Fouling proved to be the key, as New York shot 25-for-33 from the free throw line. Boston made 15 of 19 shots.
Boston’s preseason continues Wednesday night in Philadelphia. Before we turn the page to that game, here are the takeaways from Monday’s game.
Peyton Pritchard’s encore
Pritchard shined with a game-high 26 points in a win over Philadelphia, and he gave the fans a big show at MSG on Monday night.
The Celtics guard, whose four-year contract extension he signed on Sunday has yet to be completed, once again led all scorers with 21 points.
He made 7 of 15 shots (4 of 11 three-pointers), dished out 5 assists, 5 rebounds and 3 steals in 29 minutes.
Maybe it’s too early to tell, but Pritchard looks to have taken a legitimate step heading into the fourth year of his NBA career. He’s still behind talented linebackers (Derrick White, Jrue Holiday) on the depth chart, but should have a bigger role off the bench this time around. All signs point to him being up for the challenge.
More newcomers show their potential
Just a day after all eyes were on offseason additions Kristaps Porzingis and Jrue Holiday, the Celtics’ lesser-known newcomers have a chance to showcase their talents. Opportunity.
6-foot-7 point guard Dalano Banton and journeyman wing Svi Mykhailiuk, both on partially guaranteed contracts, were early in this game left a mark in the game and regularly scored 20 and 15 points respectively. They each lost 8 points in the first quarter.
Banton made 8 of 19 shots and Mykhailiuk made 5 of 9 shots, including 3 three-pointers.
Former Cleveland Cavaliers forward Lamar Stevens (11 points) and former Indiana Pacers forward Oshae Brissett (10 points) were the other two C players to score in double figures. . Stevens also went 5-for-12 from the field and grabbed eight rebounds.
Neemiasquita auditions for front-of-house role
With Robert Williams sent to Portland, the Celtics could use some frontcourt help behind Kristaps Porzingis and Al Horford. Neemias Queta, a 7-footer signed to a two-way contract last month, showed some promise in his C debut.
The 2022-23 G League MVP runner-up quickly ignited a spark with a strong counterattack in the first quarter. He had 7 points, 4 rebounds and 1 block in 14 minutes.
There’s potential there, but Queta has to cut down on the fouling. He scored five points in his brief time on the court, continuing a troubling trend dating back to his college days. That’s an issue that must be addressed before the Celtics can consider giving him regular playing time.
Walsh continued his stellar performance Monday night in Summer League action.
The second-round pick out of Arkansas takes pride in his defense, and that was evident in the second quarter when he got a steal at the other end and made a layup, his first in the NBA.
Walsh scored 4 points, 6 rebounds and 2 steals in 18 minutes. We know the offense is still a work in progress, but the defense is looking just as advertised. It will be interesting to see how the 19-year-old develops throughout the season.
Sam Houser still looking for shot
Hauser has yet to find his groove in the Celtics’ first two preseason games. The 6-foot-8 forward shot 41.8 percent from beyond the arc last season but is just 2-for-15 from beyond the arc so far.
Now is certainly not the time to hit the panic button. Hauser has proven to be an inconsistent shooter who is hotter than cold. There’s no doubt he’ll shake off his current funk and once again provide Boston with much-needed scoring opportunities this upcoming season.
He should have a chance to start a nice winning streak this Wednesday night.