Three Leaf Clover: Payton Pritchard’s playmaking, Svi Mykhailiuk’s offensive mind, and in defense of Derrick White

PP and Svi have led a fun Celtics bench squad in three preseason games, while Derrick White is left off ESPN’s top 100.

Welcome to Week 2 of Three Leaf Clover, CelticsBlog’s week in review. We are quickly approaching the actual regular season where the points count, and the games do matter. Can’t wait. In the meantime, here’s three things that caught my eye this past week.

Stat of the Week – 29.3% assist percentage

Perhaps the biggest beneficiary of Boston’s backcourt reshuffle is Payton Pritchard. After seeing his minutes decrease for two straight years, PP will play, but the bigger question is: will he play make? Pritchard has had the ball in his hands quite a bit in these half-serious, half-pickup games in the preseason. With two high minute guards out the door and only one replacing them, there’s going to be opportunities for another ballhandler to emerge, especially one that can get downhill, get into the paint, and find open shooters.

Historically, that has not been PP’s game. His 15.3% assist percentage last year was 125th in the league among qualified players, lower than noted point guards Josh Hart and Royce O’Neil. While his 9.18 drives per-36 last year was a respectable number, he did very little with them, shooting 35.9% with a lowly 10.6% assist percentage. There’s legitimate concern that Pritchard will be relegated to undersized shooting guard the majority of his career.

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