Pressey making case for Celtics rotation

Pressey making case for Celtics rotation
October 18, 2013, 5:00 pm
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(AP Photo)

WALTHAM, Mass. — It's not like the Boston Celtics haven't been down this point guard-less road before.

Celtics rookie Phil Pressey, the only true point guard who will be with Boston when the regular season starts, is expected to sit out Sunday's game against Minnesota in Montreal.

Pressey did not practice with the team on Friday as he tries to heal from a twisted left ankle injury suffered in the fourth quarter of Boston's 99-97 loss at Toronto on Wednesday.

"I rolled it before," Pressey said. "I know when I roll it, it's going to hurt for a couple days. Hopefully in the next couple days I'll be good."

With the regular season less than two weeks away, look for the Celtics to err on the side of caution when it comes to limiting the (generously listed) 5-foot-11 point guard.

"Then you're really narrow in your point guard numbers," said Celtics head coach Brad Stevens. "You might have two of your point guards out in (Rajon) Rondo and Phil. We have to balance that appropriately with the minutes in the preseason."

Rondo has been out since January after suffering a torn right ACL injury. There is no definitive timetable for his return, but Rondo has insisted that he will be back to playing sometime during the 2013-2014.

Pressey, an undrafted rookie out of Missouri, proved himself worthy of a two-year deal with Boston following a solid showing at summer league in Orlando.

He has since followed that up with quality play in the preseason which has positioned him to be in the running for a spot in the team's regular playing rotation.

And while his current injury is a setback, it isn't expected to have much of any aspect of his chances of playing early on this season.

Like any good point guard, Pressey has been doing his part to connect with Stevens with the knowledge that a stronger bond with the head coach means a stronger likelihood that of playing.

"As you grow with a coach, you kind of know what he wants at the end of the game," Pressey said. "Right now, we're trying to grow together and learn what each other is thinking."

Pressey added, "Every game, every practice we go through I'm still learning. It's new for me. I feel like the more I play, the more I'm gonna get a feel for it. Just me getting used to my teammates and this whole system of the NBA, is different. The more I play, the more I get adjusted."

Although Pressey has done enough to warrant playing time, it still remains to be seen if he'll be among those to be in the regular playing rotation at the start of the season.

And like most young point guards, Pressey still has to find that balance that exists between being a scorer or a facilitator at the position.

"It's different for me but I'm learning every single day," Pressey said. "The coaches have really been harping on me to get better, so I'm just trying to get better every day and improve."