Resetting the Celtics’ depth chart: Point Guard
Although the Celtics didn’t make a huge splash in free agency, the roster has changed a bit from 2020 after some minor moves. Let’s reset the depth chart and take a deeper look at each position, starting with point guard.
- Dennis Schröder
- Payton Pritchard
- Kris Dunn
- Yam Madar
Point guard was the biggest question mark for the Celtics just a week ago. The position was thin, with only Payton Pritchard and Marcus Smart. With the acquisitions of Dennis Schröder and Kris Dunn, and Yam Madar’s hype, the position has some serious depth, and Smart could easily slide into a 2-guard spot.
Although the point guard position is not the most talented for the Celtics, you can make an argument that it is the deepest.
Schröder is a bona fide starter in the league and Boston stole him with a one year, mid-level exception deal. He fits the offense extremely well as a pass-first player. He doesn’t demand shots, and should be the perfect set-up man for the Jays.
Defensively, Schröder is a major upgrade from Kemba Walker. For one, he actually stays healthy and is available to play defense. Plus, he’s much bigger and stronger. Not to mention, Schröder is a great on-ball defender that opposing teams won’t switch on to and attack each possession.
Schröder’s biggest weakness is his shooting, which remains a need for Boston. He’s only a career 34-percent three-point shooter. Pair him with Smart at shooting guard, and the Celtics’ backcourt is a major concern from the outside. That duo would shrink the floor and make it easier for opposing teams to guard. So, staggering their minutes would be a smart move by Ime Udoka & Co.
The guys behind Schröder, however, make up for his lackluster shooting.
Celtics fans got their first taste of Pritchard this past season, and he’s only gotten better. He’s a great game manager and can shoot from deep, as exemplified by his 41 percent mark in 2020. Pritchard is improving quite a bit in Summer League and should garner more than 19.2 minutes per game next season, like he did last year.
After Pritchard, there is a pretty big drop. Kris Dunn was once the fifth overall pick in the draft, but hasn’t found his footing in the league, and has dealt with injuries recently. Unlike Pritchard, Dunn is more of an attacking guard. He’s got a great handle and likes to get inside the defense. He’s a serviceable backup, but he probably won’t be seeing many minutes next season.
Yam Madar is the X-factor of the point guard group. He was only a second-round pick, so you can’t expect him to be the next big thing. However, Madar received a lot of hype before Summer League started, and he’s been lackluster at best so far. If he pans out to be a solid player, then the point guard position will be taken care of for years to come. If he’s nothing special, then he’ll just fall into the group of mediocre young guards in Maine that barely sees the court in Boston.
Overall, the point guards are solid, not great. Their best quality is that they are a gritty group, which is what the Celtics need after being uber-soft last season.
The main focus, offensively, will be the Jays, so the point guards will just need to set them up, knock down a couple open shots and play defense. This group isn’t flashy, but they can do that.