Saturday, February 1, 2014

Who is Phil Pressey?

Pressey contorts his body to make a spectacular pass against the Knicks
Photo courtesy of
Just a few months ago….
Phil Pressey went undrafted in the 2013 NBA Draft. He wouldn't have imagined that just a few months later-he would be playing for arguably the best franchise in all of sports, the Boston Celtics. The former Missouri PG who looked like he had no future in the NBA now looks like he could become a solid NBA back-up, possibly a starting PG if he gives it his very best. He certainly has the work ethic to accomplish that.
Phil Pressey was born February 17, 1991 in Dallas to Elizabeth and Paul Pressey. He has basketball background in his family as his father, Paul, played for the Bucks, Warriors, and Spurs in his 11 year career, while averaging over 10.5 PPG, 5 APG, and 3.5 RPG. Paul Pressey was also an assistant coach on the Celtics from 2004-2006. He had some words to say about his son's future in the NBA, 

"Him being around basketball all his life, this is second nature to him. The biggest thing for him is making the adjustment to what the NBA is all about. The game is full of more talent. You're not the fastest. You're not the only one that's skilled. Everybody on the floor has skill. They got speed, they got size. So you have to make adjustments, too. He's smart enough to figure that out. It's just gonna take time on the floor at this level to figure it out."

Phil Pressey played college ball at the University of Missouri. He led the Big 12 in assists and steals during his sophomore year. He was also successful in his junior year; leading the conference in assists. 
He decided to fore go his senior year at Missouri to enter the NBA draft. Although he had a solid season at Missouri, ESPN projected him to go in the late 2nd-round...He went undrafted. Pressey later signed with Boston to play in the Summer League. His play rewarded him with a 3 year deal worth the league minimum for a rookie, which is around 490k. Pressey did not earn much playing time during the first months of the season, but he has recently played legitimate minutes. In his first career NBA start on Jan. 15, Pressey had 10 assists and 0 turnovers (something he struggled to do in college).

With Avery Bradley, Jerryd Bayless, and Rajon Rondo all out on the 22nd against the Wizards, Pressey had another chance to shine. He finished with a career high 20 points on 7/10 shooting and 4 assists before fouling out in his second ever career start.
Pressey has looked like a steal all season long in the sense that Boston got a reliable and productive option for basically nothing. He has put up averages of 2.3 PPG, 1 RPG, and 2.6 APG; not star numbers, but effective in limited minutes. Additionally, Pressey is only 5"11, which gives him a physical disadvantage, but a mental advantage because of the chip on his shoulder. 

Those performances mentioned earlier are impressive for a player like Pressey. If he can continue to keep his turnovers down and shoot consistently on a daily-basis then Pressey has a chance at becoming a future starting PG, probably not for Boston. All in all, Pressey has shown flashes of brilliance in his rookie season, but for now, I can only see him as solid back-up point guard.