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Gary Payton II’s Return Adds A New Layer For The Warriors!!

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The patrons at Chase Center almost looked as if it would rise joined once Gary Payton II leaped off the bench and walked to the scorer’s table, but he had to attend a bit longer before introducing himself to the NBA Finals. 

Gary Payton II’s Return Adds A New Layer For The Warriors

One month and two days after fracturing his left elbow in Memphis, some more seconds didn’t feel so bad. 

One month and two days after fracturing his left elbow in Memphis, some more seconds didn’t feel so bad. 

Game 2 was an emergency, in a sense. 

Gary Payton II's Return Adds A New Layer For The Warriors

Gary Payton II’s Return

“Knowing that I could go out there and help my teammates was frustrating,” Payton said. “It’s been frustrating since the injury. Last week I knew I want to be very close, so it had been just anticipation and just antsy, able to get out there.” 

Payton represents a necessary layer to the soldiers. And Payton was so eager, that he blew an open-court layup because his body looked as if it would be moving faster than natural. 

Luckily, he was bailed out by a Jaylen Brown touch foul — which would’ve sullied an ideal night from the field: 3 for 3, including a corner three that appeared to surprise everyone on the Celtics bench. 

“Looks pretty good, doesn’t it?” Payton wondered aloud about his shot. 

Considering the injury, it sounded like he would be reticent about taking shots from distance additionally to the shooting being far down the list of his attractive qualities. 

But fearlessness is that the first word in his bio, so if he was visiting to be dared, he would be daring — following a season of shooting a career-high 35% from three, hitting 43 in 71 games. 

He even had a heart-stopping fall on it the same elbow that had quite some wondering if he would join Andre Iguodala on the “back for every day then back to the IR” list. Luckily, Dillon Brooks was nowhere to be found, and no code breaking was a part of the postgame discussion. 

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He speaks deliberately, his charmless within the volume of words but within the space, he leaves through silence. 

But his value was evident upon his entrance, a worth the soldiers recognized within the one preseason game he played before choosing him over veteran Avery Bradley. it’s paid off, certainly, but Payton paid it in labor — one of all the league’s best one-on-one defenders. 

It’ll probably pay off tangibly within the summer, too; he’s due a raise after overplaying his $1.9 million salaries this season. within the immediate present, he’s a necessary intangible. 

“We were quite soft within the first game,” Payton said. “And that was our emphasis setting out this game and  being aggressive and playing the soldiers basketball we all understand how to play and being on defense, locked into our assignments and knowing our personnel.” 

Because of his aggressiveness and energy, he can term Game 1’s performance “soft” without offending his more experienced colleagues. During this series, they’ll probably need the simplest of him during this styles-make-fights series. 

The worst of the Celtics falls right into the Warriors’ hands: a general sloppiness with the game’s most treasured object, resulting in quick threes and quicker timeouts. 

Payton will tuck himself underneath the non-public space of Brown and Jayson Tatum, although he’s generously listed at 6-foot-3. Maybe the soldiers will put him on Marcus Smart and provides him a taste of his own annoyance. 

With the dynamic attack the Celtics present, Payton is more necessary during this series than even against Luka Doncic last round.

He seems ready for additional responsibility.

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