The so-called “rebuilding” year is a period a general manager situates many young players onto a roster to be evaluated for trade value or a role they could essentially fill on the team someday. One rookie that has drawn some attention is guard Phil Pressey. A Missouri product, he was signed by the Boston Celtics as an undrafted free agent.
The son of former NBA player Paul Pressey is undersized, standing just under 6-foot. However, he has been known for his playmaking skills through college. Although he has undoubtedly had trouble scoring, Pressey consistently displays his ability to create offense on this Boston squad. His season averages of 1.6 points and 2.5 assists may not stand out to anyone, but in limited action, Pressey has made the most of his opportunities.
Thanks to Jerryd Bayless‘ injury, Pressey has seen an increase in his minutes. In each of the last three games, the rookie guard has seen over 2o minutes of action on the court, including in his first career start. In that start, Pressey went 0-for-5 from the field, but dished out 10 assists, with a block, a steal and no turnovers. It was extremely impressive seeing the undrafted guard run the show on offense. Double-digit dimes along with no turnovers is a promising indication of his basketball IQ. His next game were overshadowed by Rajon Rondo‘s return, but Pressey followed up his big game nicely. Against the Los Angeles Lakers, he scored six points, with nine assists, 2 steals and again — no turnovers. Two days later against the Orlando Magic, Pressey went a dismal 1-for-7 from the field, but recorded five assists and three steals. This rookie has certainly shown what type of player he can be in the future.
It is difficult to predict just what Pressey’s ceiling might be in the NBA. He has significant limitations on offense that may hold him back in the league. He doesn’t have a respectable shot and has trouble creating offense for himself. Also, the fact that he is undersized doesn’t help his case either. However, his quickness, basketball IQ and ability to find open teammates on offense will be suffice for him to be a decent role player on any team. He is also a promising on-ball defender. He is able to get his hand on the ball and applies excellent pressure on ball-handlers.
The fact that he is here in the NBA making plays proves that he is no slouch when it comes to hard work. If he can continue his work ethic, Phil Pressey can develop into a respectable backup point guard that can contribute to a winning team. The sky is the limit for this kid, and he can only improve.