C's Pressey confident he'll get playing time at point

C's Pressey confident he'll get playing time at point
October 2, 2013, 7:30 pm
Share This Post

NEWPORT, R.I. — Going undrafted out of Missouri, no one would blame Phil Pressey if he at some point had some doubts about whether he could be an NBA player.

Still, for those who know Pressey, whatever one may point to as being something he lacks - confidence certainly won't make the list.

It's not a cocky, I'm-all-that-and-then-some confidence.

Instead, it's more about having a unwavering belief that he will get the job done, whatever that may be, when given the opportunity.

That's exactly what the rookie point guard has in training camp with the Celtics.

Most undrafted players in NBA camps are focused on finding a way to make the roster.

Pressey took care of that with a strong summer league showing that made the C's jump at the chance to sign him to a two-year, $1.3 million deal with the second year being a team option.

Now, Pressey's focus is centered around playing well enough to earn minutes at the point, a position that's wide open with Rajon Rondo (torn right ACL) out at least for the early part of the season.

"I'm in a great position," Pressey told CSNNE.com following practice on Wednesday. "It's very uncommon for someone to get the position I'm in. The only thing I can control is go out there and play hard and defensively show that i can guard. That's going to be the biggest thing, getting the coaches to trust me with the basketball."

Ronald Nored, who was hired by the C's as a player development coach, was the starting point guard for new Celtics coach Brad Stevens at Butler.

Nored, a two-time Horizon League Defensive Player of the Year, said Stevens' ideal point guard is pretty clear.

"A guy that is in a position to make his teammates better," Nored said. "However that is, whether that's a guy that's really scoring the ball which he had before I got there, or a guy like myself that was more about setting guys up, that kind of thing. He just wants guys that are going to make guys better and push guys to be better."

It's still early, but the word on Pressey is that he's doing all the things to position himself to remain in the hunt for playing time this season.

Stevens praised all his rookies, including Pressey.

"I thought Phil Pressey had as good a day as any guard," Stevens said. "So there's a lot of competition for spots with all the discussions right now."

Pressey has also benefited from having Rondo around.

Although Rondo is limited in what he can do (no contact), he hasn't hesitated in providing Pressey with tips and suggestions on how to improve his game.

"It's great having him around," Pressey said. "He's a vet, he knows what he's talking about. You can tell by every little thing we're doing. He's either correcting or telling somebody what they should be doing. And everybody listens to him because he's been there before. It's good to have him out there. His leadership is great for us."

Stevens likes what Pressey can do as far as getting the team into the right offense, playing pick-and-roll and directing the ball defensively.

There are also intangibles to Pressey that's just as appealing.

"Phil's a rookie with a chip on his shoulder because he wasn't drafted," Stevens said. "And a rookie with an extensive NBA background because he lived in a house with an assistant NBA coach [Phil's dad, Paul Pressey, also a NBA All-Star with the Bucks] his whole life."

Said Pressey: "I'm just going out there, getting better everyday and proving myself."