Yesterday, I wrote a story on Phil Pressey for MassLive.com. You can read it in its entirety here. Here’s an excerpt:
Pressey has been one of the leaders in efficiency among rookie point guards in 2013-14, sporting an assist-to-turnover ration of 7.6 to 2.6 per 36 minutes. Pace-adjusted stats can be deceiving, since they normalize a small sample size and often make players who compete against second units look better. But in this year’s rookie class, only Trey Burke has a better assist-to-turnover ratio per 36 minutes than Pressey. It’s also worth noting that as a starter, Pressey’s ratio stays largely the same: 6.9 assists to 2.5 turnovers.
What’s more, Pressey hasn’t exactly made a point of being careful. His style of play mixes no-look passes with tricky dribbling, all of which — according to Pressey — is simply the best way to make a play happen.
“It’s unconscious,” Pressey said after Friday’s game. “Danny Ainge has told me to make the same passes and still be creative, but kind of tone it down a little. But sometimes, I see something and the only way I can get him the ball is to be flashy and creative. I feel like that flashy and creative allows me to work.”
With 9:04 left in the second quarter on Friday, Pressey wove his way past Luke Ridnour, driving into Charlotte’s defense. When Bismack Biyombo left his feet to contest Pressey’s layup, Pressey flicked a no-look pass under Biyombo’s never-ending arms to Brandon Bass, who found himself open for a two-handed slam.
Visually, the way Pressey picks and probes a defense in the half court — specifically in pick-and-roll sets — looks a lot like Rajon Rondo. Both point guards keep their dribble alive and keep moving, drawing help defenders away from their assignments and messing with the opponent’s defensive rotations. The Rondo comparison isn’t wasted on Pressey.
“From day one, I’ve been studying him,” Pressey said. “It’s kind of crazy, because some of the same passes he makes, I see the same things. But the way he controls the game, his leadership is unmatched. That’s the biggest thing I’ve picked up, how he controls the game offensively and defensively. For me, just being behind him and studying him has helped tremendously.”
Hit the link if you want to read my favorite Phil Pressey quote of all time.
You can check out more Celtics coverage on MassLive here.
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