Pressey's play at point keys C's first-half run

Pressey's play at point keys C's first-half run
November 7, 2013, 1:15 am
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Celtics rookie point guard Phil Pressey drives past the Jazz's Ian Clark.

(USA Today Sports Images)

BOSTON — All those turnovers through the first four games, it was clear that the Celtics had to make better use of its point guards - make that point guard, singular.

Aside from Rajon Rondo who is still out with a torn right ACL injury, rookie Phil Pressey is the team's only other true point guard.

And for all the players that stepped up in Boston's first win of the season, a 97-87 victory over Utah, Pressey's play stood out for all the right reasons.

He entered the game in the first quarter with the Celtics trailing, 20-10.

By the time he was summoned back to the bench by coach Brad Stevens, the Celtics were on a 28-12 run and would remain in control the rest of the night.

"Offensively, I just try to make sure we're in a set every time down, making sure we get the ball to the guys we needed to get it to," said Pressey who had three assists without a turnover. "And defensively, just make sure we're tight and getting stops. I know once we get stops we can get in transition. The team we have, that's how we gotta play."

Just about every player who saw action for Boston played a vital role in the team's victory, which was Brad Stevens' first as an NBA head coach.

Still, it's hard to brush off the presence that Pressey had while on the floor, giving that Celtics' second unit a true point guard which seemed to be just what they needed in order to make a significant impact.

Two players, Jared Sullinger (12 points) and Kelly Olynyk (14 points_), had double figures in scoring.

And Gerald Wallace, playing his first game with the Celtics as a reserve, had a near double-double with nine points and nine rebounds.

Stevens was pleased with the team's overall play which included some nice, productive play from Pressey.

"First of all, I thought he's good off the pick-and-roll, he passes well, he made good decisions," Stevens said.

But Pressey's play in the second half, Stevens said, wasn't as solid, which is why of his 17 minutes played, only five came in the second half.

"I thought in the second half he was a little bit tentative," Stevens said. "And he can't play that way, and I don't want him to play that way. It's a hard position because he's trying not to make mistakes because he wants to play more and that's no way to play. So he just needs to play free, and play well.

Stevens added, "we don't do some things as well with him out there, but we do a lot of things better so I thought I'd give him a shot."