A center and a backup point guard, what do those two words bring to the mind of Celtic Nation? For most, it would bring up the word “absent”, meaning that the Celtics have had neither of these in the past couple of seasons. The team has been able to get by without having a big rebounding force on the block because they have so many weapons, with one of those being Rondo. They have also been able to get by without a backup point guard because Rondo plays majority of the game almost every night the team suits up. When Rondo went down to an ACL tear this past season, the lack of having a “true” backup point guard became a serious issue. Not only did the Celtics have trouble bringing the ball down the court, but it also put added pressure to players like Avery Bradley and Paul Pierce. Bradley should never be asked to bring the ball down the court on a nightly basis, that’s not his game. Where Bradley thrives is being a slasher or cutter. Pierce just wore down after basically having to do everything for the team because of the absence of Rondo. How do the Celtics go about requiring a backup point? They might not have to do anything because of the pure genius move of picking up undrafted rookie Phil Pressey, but who is he?
Weight: 175 lb.
2012-2013 Stats: PPG: 11.1/APG: 7.1/RPG: 3.3
2011-12 All-Big 12 second team
2011-2012 assist and steals champion
2012 SEC Pre-Season player of the Year
2013 AP All-American honorable mention
Missouri single-season and career assists records
Missouri career steals record
2012-2013 assist champion
On paper this player has all the talent in the world to be successful in the NBA, but it will not be handed to him. Being undrafted doesn’t necessarily mean a player has been issued a “death sentence” to their career, it just means that they will have to prove that they belong. In his very young career, Pressey has done everything to impress the Celtics organization, along with their fans since being picked up by the club. His numbers during the Orlando Summer League support this, as he averaged 9.9ppg, 2.2rpg, and a stellar 6.6apg, which was very impressive numbers for a player who was undrafted coming into the summer league. Throughout the summer league games, Pressey seemed to be the floor general while he was on the court. His court vision was something that came up in most discussions, as he seemed to be two steps ahead of the competition. Do any of these skills remind you of a certain player already in green? Before anyone gets upset, nobody is saying that Pressey is better than Rondo, or will be replacing him anytime soon. What is being said is this: Pressey has the “potential” to be an outstanding player in this league, and will be the best suited backup point guard for the Celtics moving forward. If for some reason Rondo isn’t ready to go at the start of the season, don’t be surprised if Pressey fills in as the starting point guard. For his tremendous play/effort, the Celtics have signed him to the team, which has to be a sigh of relief for the young point guard. Phil Pressey will be something special to watch, and Celtic fans should be ecstatic he will be suiting up in green.