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Wednesday, 04 September 2013 18:42

What to Expect From Phil Pressey in 2013-14

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In today's edition of our What to Expect series, the panel will be discussing Phil Pressey. 

As we got closer and closer to the regular season, Pressey's role remains unknown. Read on to see what the CLNS writers think Pressey means to this Boston Celtics team.

Sloan Piva (@sloanpiva)

Pressey could emerge as one of the pleasant surprises of this bridge year, as evidenced by his strong Summer League stint and subsequent camp. He has good instincts, quick hands and impressive court vision. Even if he only plays 16-20 minutes per game behind Rondo, he'll probably make some noise.

Stats Projections:

16.0 MPG, 8.7 PPG, 2.6 APG, 0.6 SPG

Rich Conte (@richconte)

Phil Pressey earned an invite to training camp (and partially guaranteed contract) based off his solid performance at the Orlando Summer League.  The son of former NBA player and Celtic assistant coach Paul Pressey demonstrated a natural feel for running an offense and distributing the ball as well as excellent quickness and persistence on the defensive end.  The Celtics lack of depth at the position, particularly in light of Rondo’s questionable status to start the season, bode well for Pressey’s chances of making the team coming out of camp.

His lack of size and average athleticism raise questions about his ability to contribute at the NBA level.  The guess here is, if he can present even a token threat offensively, he has a good chance to earn a spot in the rotation, at least until Rondo returns to full strength.  However, if the Celtics find a more veteran, established option to back up Rondo, then Pressey’s spot on the roster will be in jeopardy.

Stat Projections:

 8.6 MPG, 2.3 PPG, 2.4 APG, 0.9 SPG

Tim MacLean (@TimMacLean_)

Following his surprisingly impressive stint in the Orlando Summer League the Boston Celtics decided to extend a training camp invite to undrafted free agent, Phil Pressey.

With the invitation, Pressey has an unbelievable opportunity to play for one of the most storied franchises in NBA history. But he won’t be just asked to play minutes here and there. Instead, Pressey will surely be asked to be a solid contributor off of Brad Stevens’ bench as he is the only pure point guard – besides Rajon Rondo - on the current roster.

Pressey’s initial role will all depend on the status of Rondo. If the Celtics starting floor general is ready to go on opening night then Pressey will surely be relegated to minutes off of the bench. But that might not be so bad. For the first month or so of the regular season, Rondo will not be able to play the 40-42 minutes per game that has become so accustomed to over the years. In turn, Pressey will need to be ready to play a good chunk of minutes while Rondo once again acclimates himself to the NBA game.

However, if Rondo is not available for the start of the season then Pressey will have just as good a chance as any to take over the starting point guard position during Rondo’s absence.

But whatever role Pressey takes on in 2013-14 I expect the former Missouri Tiger to contribute as both a feisty on-ball defender and a capable play maker. Pressey proved that he can be a handful when it comes to taking him off of the dribble. He displayed an exceptional work ethic on the defensive end of the floor, picking up opposing ball handlers in full court pressure. His small stature might not be ideal for a point guard in today’s NBA but Pressey uses his size – or lack thereof – to get low on the opposition which aids in his ability to come up with a number of steals night in and night out.

Pressey is also a solid facilitator on the offensive side of the ball but he’ll need to learn how to take better care of the basketball. His ball security shouldn’t be too much of a concern after he goes through his first professional training camp.

Phil may never be a starting caliber guard at this level but I believe he will have a long, solid career as a team’s primary ball handler off the pine.

Stat Projections:

15.0 MPG, 3.9 PPG, 4.8 APG, 1.0 SPG