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State of the Celtics: Phil Pressey, Jared Sullinger Making Great Strides

Jared Sullinger via ESPN

With a 2-2 record last week, the Celtics have gained some ground in the Atlantic Division with the 6-10 record through 16 games. Riding a two-game win streak into tonight’s contests against the Memphis Grizzlies, the green team looks to keep it going with a full team effort that starts from the hot shooting Jordan Crawford and the aggressive, winning mentality of Gerald Wallace.

Phil Pressey making case for minutes

Pressey will be seeing little to no tome when Rajon Rondo returns from his ACL surgery sometime this season, but for now the young point guard has made some great strides in his play. With only 13 games and 13 minutes per game, the first-year player may only be putting in 2.7 points per game, but he also hands out 2.5 assists and steals the ball almost once per contest.

The 22-year-old seems to find his way into the lanes with his short stature and assumes the point guard role with ease. Sure, Jordan Crawford has played well on the offensive side of the floor, but Pressey’s defensive ability has made him a great part of the second unit through the first 16 games.

Sullinger taking bigger role

Jared Sullinger put together a monster stat line last Wednesday with 19 points and 17 rebounds against the San Antonio Spurs. His five-point performance against the Charlotte Bobcats was a disappointment, but the second-year player has scored in double figures in 11 of 14 contests.

The one difference that Sullinger has made this season has been his ability to score on the post. He makes great little hook shots and can back his way into the paint like a veteran. Plus, he has the ability to fight on the offensive boards and get second chance points on a consistent basis.

Road Ahead

Four more games this week, including a home-and-home against the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday and Tuesday. Three of the four are at home with the next two against the Grizzlies (a 100-93 loss) and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

In order to get through this stretch with a winning record, the Celtics need to keep playing good defense and play big on the boards. Make sure to keep Jeff Green involved on the offense and to pass the ball around in the hald court sets.

My prediction for the week: 3-1

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