Monday, June 27, 2022

Celtics guard sends strong message on offseason plans after NBA Finals loss

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The Boston Celtics offseason has officially begun. They were eliminated by the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals, losing in six games. Despite falling short of their ultimate goal, it was still an impressive season for Boston.

Now, as they prepare to make another run next year, the focus will be on improving internally. They were two games away from being NBA champions, so internal improvement would go a long way. And that’s exactly what a warden from Boston is planning.

During his exit interview, Celtics guard Derrick White explained what his plans will be this offseason. According to White, his focus this summer will be on improving his jump shot.

“Game 1 was great of course, but I’m just trying to stay confident, stay consistent with my form, try to get every shot the same and not have that variability. Being in the gym and shooting is my plan,” White explained.

White shot 5-of-8 in Game 1 of the NBA Finals, but then his blistering shooting cooled. He went a combined 5-of-17 through the last five games of the series. His goal this summer will be to develop a more consistent jumper.

At the same time, White knows that nothing will ever be easy.

With that in mind, White said he knows it will be difficult to get back to where the Celtics were last year. He said he wants to improve his strength and shooting this summer and is ready to work this summer.

“Having the mind and body ready to walk out of training camp and to understand that we’ve taken this final hurdle that we have to clear … and that’s not guaranteed,” White said.

Boston acquired White at the close of trade for Josh Richardson, Romeo Langford, this year’s first-round pick, and a first-round pick trade in 2028. From joining the team through the end of the regular season, White averaged 11.0 points, 3, 4 rebounds and 3.5 assists with 40.9% shots from the field and 30.6% shots from distance.

White isn’t the only Celtics guard with big goals this summer, however. Payton Pritchard also has some offseason plans.

The Boston Guard told the media that his main goal for next season will be to earn regular game minutes.

“My first goal is to find consistent minutes every night and where I can gain the confidence where I can be out there 20 minutes a night rather than it faltering…earn the right…to be able to trust me to play this game.” play in and play out and deliver… shots are fired,” Pritchard explained.

Pritchard averaged 6.2 points, 1.9 rebounds and 2.0 assists on 42.9% shots from the field and 41.2% shots from behind the three-point line last season. He averaged 14.1 minutes per game, which was less than the 19.2 minutes he played in his rookie season.

Both White and Pritchard expect to be key figures in Boston’s rotation next year.

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