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Meet Phil Pressey – The Man Gunning for Rajon Rondo’s Job

Richard Mummolo October 10, 2013 Celtics News 18 Comments

Although many Celtics fans may feel a slight sense of apprehension when it comes to the point guard position this season, the outlook may not look so bleak, especially if undrafted rookie Phil Pressey has a say in the matter.

“At the end of the day, all you need to worry about is playing the game,” the Missouri product stated in an interview with NESN this week. “My goal is not to be the primary backup. It is to start.”

With most of the training camp attention on All-Star starter Rajon Rondo’s recovery from his January ACL injury, Celtics reporters and fans alike may be overlooking the potential impact of the Pressey, who has scored numerous accolades of his own. The Dallas native, who has ties to the New England area from his time spent playing for Cushing Academy in Ashburnham, is known for his deft talent in the passing game. While playing for coach Frank Haith at top-25 Missouri, Pressey set all-time highs for the Tigers in career assists. In a nationally televised game against freshman phenom Shabazz Muhammad and UCLA, Pressey set an SEC record for assists in a single game, dishing out an astonishing 19 against the Bruins.

Stevens would be wise in giving the unproven rookie significant minutes behind presumed starter Avery Bradley, a defensive stalwart who is yet to develop a reliable offensive game in fourth season in the league. Pressey would be perfectly suited for situations calling for instant offensive production or stretches when Bradley goes through his habitual shooting slumps, some of which plagued the Celtics in games last season. Of course, this is not to put a knock on Pressey’s defensive talents. The diminutive 5’11’’ guard also hold the career record for steals at Missouri, and he led all Big 12 players in steals during the 2011-12 campaign, the Tigers’ last season in the conference.

An intriguing option would be for Stevens to place Pressey directly alongside Bradley, who in fact has more experience at the shooting guard position to begin with.  A Pressey-Bradley background proves a fantastic counterbalance for offense and defense, and may even provide a glimpse into the future of the backcourt, especially with rumors swirling of a Rondo trade. It may seem blasphemous right now to pencil an undrafted rookie into the starting five, but given the glaring inconsistencies of Courtney Lee and Jordan Crawford, the Green may be better served with a new player manning the offense.

Pressey provided a flash of his enormous potential Wednesday against the Knicks, leading the team with 13 points while coming off the bench. Pressey’s 28 minutes were also the most on team, showing that Stevens has trust in the guard. No matter what the rookie coach decides to do with the rookie guard, one fact remains: Don’t count the kid out.

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  • wil

    Phil Pressey is certainly the type of Point Guard that we’ve been looking for to man the 2nd units offense. Last year, the year before that, and the year before that year lol.

    Its been a long time coming, i hope he develops good. He fits the celtic offensive tempo and sets.

    Humphries and Wallace aint the priority to trade. Its Clee, and Bass. Maybe even Marshon too, i dont think his offensive talents will fit the celtic system.

    When coach put in those three together, lol we went down like 23 points. Our starting lineup has struggled because of bass and clee too.

    • Richard Mummolo

      Very true. I see him as the main PG this year.

    • swissflix

      I really like the way Wallace has been playing.

    • Curt Hays

      What Celtics system, tempo, and sets? We have a new coach and new team. Danny and Wyc don’t choose the system.

      • wil

        2 games, and we already know which pace they want to play in, and they want to pass the ball, alot.

      • Curt Hays

        You’re seriously going to down vote me for asking a legitmate question? Then are you seriously responding by essentially saying that 2 games is enough? C’mon, stop being childish.

    • RedsLoveChild

      Pressey has no chance of making it in the NBA…he`s way too small, and not nearly quick enough to offset his lack of size.

      Too bad because he plays with a lot of heart.

      • wil

        i think he can make it as a decent back up point guard.

        He is quick enough, and plays really smart. All he needs is more experience playing, so he will know the do’s and donts for a guy with his size.

  • Jason Whetzell

    A playoff bound team would be smart to pickup Bass just to guard Melo + Lebron.

    I think Courtney still has trade value and I think he would work well as a backup on a good team as well.

    If Wallace keeps playing well into the regular season I could see us actually unloading him, it seemed impossible and maybe it still is, but there’s hope.

    Hump could serve someone not only as an expiring contract but for fringe team who needs a big body who specializes in rebounds.

    Hopefully if we can unload all of them we will get some youth and some picks and maybe a TPE.

    Then next year we sign a major free agent, draft in the top 5, and have a healthy Rondo along with some players that will have developed well without all the dead weight.

  • bill_nair

    Hopefully he works out. I think he can be a good backup PG.

  • Chuck Moran

    I like babb was watching his highlights I think he is better than what he did last year some of his games when he was at penn state looked sick he’s def. a sniper from three. He should get lees minutes if lee keeps playing we will be stuck with him cause everyone will see how awful he is.

    • Curt Hays

      Hahahaha, like Darko. Don’t watch him play, just trade for him based on reputation! LOL

  • Brian Pahlm

    Unless you are playing against a team with a 6-8 sg pressey and bradley is the type of quick uptempo back court you need. Your front court should be sully Wallace and kelly with green being your six man.

    • Prescott Adu-Poku

      that was a joke right

      • Richard Mummolo

        I agree. They complement each other so well. It will be interesting to see what Stevens does.

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  • Frank Aziza

    If he can’t get minutes now then why the heck did they draft him. Set him loose now and see what he’s capable of.