The Boston Celtics are amid an impressive 2023-24 season. The Celtics have a stellar 26-6 record and are first in the Eastern Conference standings.

Derrick White has been on a tear for Boston, while Jrue Holiday has not had his best season. Still, there is one guard on the Celtics roster whose playing time is in question. Should Payton Pritchard get his bench minutes decreased?

Why Payton Pritchard should get less minutes for the Celtics

Payton Pritchard, Boston Celtics

Payton Pritchard is by no means a bad player. The fourth-year guard averages 7.4 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 3.0 assists per game off the bench. He is often called upon to be Boston's sparkplug when the starters are out of the game. Still, his lack of major production calls his playing time into question.

The Celtics have won six games in a row, which Pritchard has undoubtedly contributed to. However, he has only scored nine points per game in Boston's last three matchups.

Pritchard does more than just score, as evidenced by his four or more rebounds per game in the last three contests. His efforts are important and should continue, but Boston's starters could see the floor more with their two-way performances.

Derrick White should play more minutes amid his hot streak

Boston Celtics guard Derrick White

Pritchard does a great job of backing up Boston's starting squad, but one of their guards has played extraordinarily well during December. Derrick White has made headlines for playing stifling defense, making clutch shots, and leading his team.

The 29-year-old leads the Celtics in steals per game (1.2), assists (5.3), and scores a respectable 17.0 points per game. An example of his outstanding contributions is seen in his Dec. 29 performance against the Toronto Raptors.

White put on a commanding display of offensive and defensive prowess. The game was down to the wire with many lead changes, but White took over during the last three minutes. He flew around on defense, facilitated the offense, and scored with authority.

The veteran guard ended the night with an all-around stat line: 21 points, seven assists, five rebounds, three steals, and two blocks. His impressive performance against the Raptors only captures a sliver of his value to the team.

Derrick White continues to prove why he is arguably the best role player in the NBA. His performance on both ends of the floor speaks for itself.

As a result, it makes sense to decrease Payton Pritchard's minutes in favor of White. Nevertheless, there is an elephant in the room that needs to be addressed.

Jrue Holiday needs to maintain his playing time despite his ‘down year'

Celtics' Jrue Holiday looking serious

The Celtics gave up a lot from their roster when they traded for Jrue Holiday in October 2023. However, the NBA world understands why Holiday is so valuable.

His contributions go beyond his recent All-Star appearance and All-Defensive caliber play. Thus, his 2023-24 slump in Boston can be excused.

Holiday averages 13.1 points, 6.1 rebounds, 4.7 assists, and 0.9 steals for the Celtics so far during the 2023-24 season. He has dropped his production in three of those four stat categories compared to the 2022-23 season. Nonetheless, there are valid reasons for his down year.

Holiday shared the floor with Giannis Antetokounmpo and Kris Middleton, two of the league's best scorers. However now, he splits his time with Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Kristaps Porzingis on the Celtics roster. Naturally, his stats are fluctuating in the downward direction.

In addition, Derrick White's ascent has somewhat stolen the thunder from Holiday. Both guards make a similar impact on the floor as two-way menaces. This does not take away from Holiday's presence, though.

Having two guards who are elite on defense is a great problem to have. It should only increase the Celtics' resistance to opposing offenses. As a result, Holiday needs to continue to get plenty of minutes alongside White to keep Boston at the top of the league in defensive rating.

The ClutchPoint: Boston's guard rotation is excellent but needs to continue to be tweaked

Payton Pritchard plays 20.5 minutes per game, which is well over his career average of 16.4. The 25-year-old guard has rightfully earned more playing time. However, Boston's starting one-two punch of Derrick White and Jrue Holiday needs maximum attention.

Pritchard should stay playing his role, but decreasing his playing time slightly would give the Celtics' starters more time on the floor. The combination of White and Holiday will have opposing guards cowering in fear on offense. Their play gives Boston an increased chance to win.

As the NBA season enters the year 2024, can the Celtics' roster continue to build chemistry?