What Can Phil Pressey Be This Season?


Phil Pressey has had a lot asked from him from the very beginning. He was signed as part of the hardship waiver the night the Philadelphia 76ers had to play the Milwaukee Bucks, and Pressey hopped on a plane to be with the team for the game that same day. While most counted him out for the game since he had yet to practice with the team, head coach Brett Brown threw him in without any prior knowledge of the playbook. Pressey got right to work, getting an assist in that game despite playing just 2:32.

Brought in as a spare player because of all of the injuries, Pressey obviously seems like a temporary player, but it’s going to be curious to see if he can assert himself as anything else. In the point guard situation, players like T.J. McConnell have already proven it’s going to be hard to put them on the bench just because other alternatives become healthy. So we will have to see how it plays out. Predicting Pressey is hard, but let’s take a look.

Pressey hasn’t gotten much playing time as a Sixer, but did finally see double digits against the Orlando Magic. His most minutes so far has been 16 minutes, where he scored five points, seven assists, and shot 33.3% from the field.

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His per game stats are a bit low and a lot of that is because he’s playing just over 16 minutes per game. Per game he’s scoring 3.4 points, 2.2 assists, and 1.2 rebounds.

Per 36 minutes, his stat line really looks pretty good. He’s averaging 15.8 points, 12.2 assists, and 5.0 rebounds. On the negative, he is turning the ball over 5.0 times per 36 minutes, which is definitely nothing good. Overall, the point is his stats look a lot better when you account for more minutes.

These per 36 minutes may be a bit skewed,  though. Pressey has only played 50 minutes so far this season, so he hasn’t even played two rounds of 36 minutes. That leaves a lot of room for him to lower those statistics.

Players like Pressey could do a lot with more minutes. When they’re typically sitting warming the bench, they aren’t primed and ready to play. Pressey hasn’t played much, and maybe some more trust from head coach Brett Brown in the form of minutes would help him play a bit better. Pressey has only had a single game with a negative +/-, so it’s clear in the small amount of time he’s on the floor, he’s impacting the game positively.

Pressey is currently finding himself in the “bench” crowd with guys who are struggling like Richaun Holmes and Christian Wood. These two are safe because of the lack of depth in the front court, but Pressey really has to prove a lot if he wants to remain on the team when Tony Wroten and Kendall Marshall (who were recently sent to the D-League for rehab on their injuries) come back. Pressey is currently taking up a 16th roster spot, so as soon as one of those guys come back, someone else on the team has to go, and as of right now, it’s going to be Pressey.

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So, right now it looks like Pressey is just a temporary player for the Sixers, and it doesn’t look like he’s going to have enough time to make a case for him to stay on the team. But with the possibility of trading a player like Tony Wroten at the deadline, maybe Pressey would be better off kept on the team.

I don’t think that’ll happen though, and I believe Pressey will be gone by the time January 1st rolls around.