Boston Celtics Guard Phil Pressey Earns Coach’s Praise


Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Celtics are still in the process of breaking a few eggs to make an omelet, but it’s not all doom and gloom. Hard work and a good attitude still impresses the Celtics’ coaching staff, and guard Phil Pressey is earning some impressive props for his gutsy summer league performance, according to ESPN’s Chris Forsberg. Pressey’s shooting average of 32.2% isn’t anything to write home about, but an average stat line of 10.6 points, 5.4 assists, 3.8 rebounds, and 2.2 steals on an average of 27 minutes per game puts his contributions in a much clearer light. And not only are his numbers talking, but his no-fear attitude is speaking volumes too. “He’s never afraid of a situation,” Celtics assistant coach Jay Larranaga stated. “I thought he played with tremendous confidence as a rookie in real NBA games. He still needs to pick his spots of when to be more aggressive and when to make the simple play. I think that’s where his greatest growth is going to come from. But he is a confident sucker. That’s why he’s been able to have such great success in his career.” What Larranga is referencing is Pressey’s road to the NBA – after going undrafted out of Missouri as a junior, the Celtics signed the undersized (5’11’’) point guard to their 2013 summer league. With Rajon Rondo’s torn ACL from the previous season sidelining the 4-time All-Star, Phil Pressey got his moment when coach Brad Stevens began a series of lineup tweaks following the Celtics’ cringe-inducing 0-4 start last season. Speaking of Brad Stevens, he had a glowing review of Pressey’s perfomance and work ethic to match his assistant coach’s: “Phil is as hard of a worker as we have on our team,” Stevens confirmed. “In fact, I think he sets the bar for most everyone else, in regards to how often he’s in the gym, how much he’s worked on his game. That really shows itself. That’s a great thing when all these young guys come in, to know a guy is coming back at 10:30 at night. Are you going with him?” As for Pressey himself, his reaction might as well have been written by Bill Belichick: “If you work on your game and you feel confidence in practice, there should be no reason why you shouldn’t feel confident when you step on the floor for the real games. You just have to keep working.” The Celtics have quite a few cooks in the kitchen at the guard position right now, not the least of which include Rondo and 1st-round draft pick Marcus Smart, but with Pressey’s 2014-2015 salary guaranteed as of midnight on Tuesday, his hard work is paying off in spades already.