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Celtics guard Rajon Rondo starting against Lakers 01.17.14 at 7:25 pm ET
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Rajon Rondo got the start at point guard in his much-anticipated return to the court on Friday night against the Lakers.

Celtics (14-26) coach Brad Stevens confirmed Rondo’s return to reporters before the 7:30 tip-off at the Garden.

Rondo has been sidelined since Jan. 25, 2013 with a torn ACL he suffered in a regular season game versus the Hawks.

Undrafted rookie Phil Pressey started his first career game at point guard in the Celtics‘ 88-83 win on Wednesday night that snapped a nine-game losing streak. Pressey briefly took over for the starting duties for the traded Jordan Crawford.

Rondo averaged 13.7 points, 11.1 assists and 5.6 rebounds per game in 38 games last season.

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Phil Pressey makes first career start, leads Celtics to victory 01.16.14 at 12:24 am ET
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Phil Pressey made his first start with the Celtics on Wednesday. (AP)

Phil Pressey made his first start with the Celtics on Wednesday. (AP)

A few minutes into the third quarter, Phil Pressey jetted around a pick-and-roll, confidently rose for an 18-foot jump shot and connected. But before he could celebrate a whistle sounded: A Boston foul nullified Pressey’€™s first points as a Celtic starter.

“I felt like that really was going to get me goin. When I finally hit one, it felt good,” Pressey said with a smile after Wednesday night’€™s game.

Pressey never scored those elusive first two points, but with Boston’€™s 10-game losing streak snapped in the team’€™s 88-83 win over the Raptors, he can now boast about his 1-0 record as a starting point guard in the NBA.

The undrafted rookie free agent’€™s 0-for-5 shooting line and zero points were not indicative of the impact he made on the game. Pressey dished out a career-high 10 assists and did not commit a single turnover in 26 minutes of play — also a career-high.

“I thought he was absolutely terrific,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens said.

Pressey liked the 10 dimes, but not as much as the zero turnovers.

“I know if I take care of the ball, I know I’€™m giving my team an opportunity to get more shots up. That’€™s what I pride myself on,” Pressey said.

The Celtics‘€™ thinness at the guard position necessitated Pressey’€™s insertion into the lineup. (Starting point guard Jordan Crawford and reserve guard MarShon Brooks were dealt to the Warriors, Rajon Rondo is still out, and Keith Bogans indefinitely left the team for personal reasons).

Pressey said he was alerted of his promotion in shootaround. Yet the suddenness of the promotion was not alarming.

“The guys embraced me from the start, like I’€™ve been there from day one, so it was very easy for me to step in and help my team out,” Pressey said.

Pressey started off slowly, but he helped spark a 6-0 run to end the half that put Boston ahead 45-41. With under one minute left, Pressey and Jared Sullinger executed a pick-and-roll that culminated with Sullinger canning a long running jumper. Pressey then pick-pocketed Toronto point guard Kyle Lowry and set off in transition where he found a trailing Avery Bradley with a smooth behind-the-back pass for an easy layup. Then Pressey collected a Raptors miss and alertly sent an outlet pass to Bradley, who had leaked ahead of the field. Bradley was fouled and made both free throws.

Pressey helped extend Boston’€™s lead to 17 with three assists in the third quarter.

“I thought when things got tough, he got tough,” Stevens said.

And things got tough in the fourth quarter. The Celtics blew their massive lead, and suddenly found themselves nursing a three-point advantage in the waning moments. But Pressey helped weather the storm and Boston eked out the win.

“To his credit, I thought he pulled guys in and together instead of when something doesn’€™t go our way we’€™re not together,” Stevens said.

There’€™s speculation that Rondo will return on Friday against the Lakers. But Boston hopes to ease Rondo back into action, and Pressey’€™s strong outing suggests that he’€™ll continue to see big minutes until Rondo’€™s healthy.

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Celtics, for the last time: Phil Pressey 10.29.13 at 6:53 pm ET
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One of the most unpredictable Celtics seasons in recent memory begins Wednesday, and in order to determine the likelihood of each player reaching his full potential, we’ll be examining them individually in this year’s Green Street preview with one form of this question in mind: “When’s the last time … ?” Next up: Phil Pressey.

When’s the last time an undrafted rookie point guard set the NBA world on fire?

The answer, quite simply, is Jeremy Lin, who transcended basketball and transformed into a global phenomenon during the Linsanity outbreak, and the odds of Philunacy recreating that magic are however-many-people-have-ever-played-basketball-to-1. Let’s just agree Lin’s an aberration and move on from there.

The list of undrafted college point guards who developed into productive NBA players is fairly extensive: Darrell Armstrong, Carlos Arroyo, J.J. Barea, Earl Barron, Earl Boykins, Troy Hudson, Mike James, Avery Johnson, Jannero Pargo and David Wesley, to name 10. And none of them produced as a rookie.

Their average line as rookies: A whopping 2.5 points (38.1 FG%, 25.2 3P%), 1.5 assists, 0.8 rebounds, 0.7 turnovers and 0.4 steals over 8.2 minutes in 26.3 games. What’s the opposite of Linsanity?

Oh, yeah, it’s Hansbr-awful. Last season, Ben Hansbrough made the Pacers out of training camp, averaged 2.0 points, 0.8 assists and 0.6 turnovers in 7.1 minutes over 28 appearances, and now plays in the Canary Islands.

Other than Lin, the only other exception to this rule is Chucky Atkins, who averaged 9.5 points and 3.7 assists over 19.8 minutes while appearing in all 82 games for a Magic team that finished .500 under Doc Rivers in 1999-2000. Both he and Pressey are listed at 5-foot-11. (So, you’re telling me there’s a chance?)

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Stat man: The Phil Pressey factor 10.10.13 at 12:25 pm ET
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Backup point guard Phil Pressey (26) basically played a flawless first game in a Celtics uniform. (AP)

Backup point guard Phil Pressey (26) basically played a flawless first game in a Celtics uniform. (AP)

Forget about Chris Babb, the Celtics’ training camp invitee whose plus-20 rating in eight fourth-quarter minutes stole the show against the Knicks, because based on the current projected salary structure the C’s can’t sign him. As a result, the most impressive player on the roster Wednesday night was backup point guard Phil Pressey.

The son of former Celtics assistant coach Paul Pressey didn’t even get on the Garden floor in Game 1 of the preseason, but sadly a death in Jordan Crawford‘s family opened the door for the Missouri product to get minutes behind Avery Bradley. And Pressey basically submitted a flawless performance in his first NBA appearance.

The former Waltham star’s straight stat line — 13 points on five shots, seven assists against zero turnovers, three rebounds and two steals in 28:05 — is impressive in its own right, and it gets better the deeper you dive into it.

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Celtics announce signings of Phil Pressey, Vitor Faverani 07.23.13 at 10:21 am ET
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Phil Pressey earned a contract from the Celtics with his solid play in the Orlando Summer League. (AP)

Phil Pressey (left) earned a contract from the Celtics with his solid play in the Orlando Summer League. (AP)

The Celtics on Monday confirmed the signings of guard Phil Pressey and Brazilian center Vitor Faverani.

Pressey, who played at Waltham High School and Cushing Academy when his father, Paul, was a Celtics assistant coach in the mid-2000s, was undrafted out of Missouri but played well for the Celtics’ summer league team in Orlando this month. The 5-foot-11 Pressey averaged 9.4 points, 6.6 assists and 2.0 steals in 23 minutes per game over five games in Orlando. As a senior at Missouri, Pressey averaged 11.9 points, 7.1 assists and 1.8 steals in 33.9 minutes per game over 34 games and was named to the All-SEC first team.

Faverani, a 6-foot-11 center, averaged 9.3 points and 4.6 rebounds while shooting 55 percent in 17 minutes per game over 23 games for Valencia Basket of the Spanish ACB.

The signings puts the Celtics roster at 17. They also are over the salary cap and are expected to move some bodies in order to avoid paying the luxury tax again this season.

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Celtics wrap up Summer League with a win and a seventh-place finish 07.12.13 at 6:39 pm ET
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Tony Mitchell, shown here playing for Alabama, scored 14 points Friday to lead the Celtics to a Summer League win. (AP)

Tony Mitchell, shown here playing for Alabama, scored 14 points Friday to lead the Celtics to a Summer League win. (AP)

Behind 14 points from Tony Mitchell and 12 apiece from Kelly Olynyk and Colton Iverson, the Celtics raced out to a 29-point lead and blew out the host Orlando Magic, 102-83, on Friday afternoon to capture the seventh-place game in the the Orlando Summer League series at Amway Center.

Olynyk, Boston’s first-round pick in this year’s draft, finished the week averaging 18.0 points and 7.8 rebounds per game, finishing as one of the most impressive young players in the tournament that features first and second-year talent and rookie free agents.

The Celtics, who finished their week in central Florida at 3-2, were blazing hot in the first half, scoring 61 points in the 20-minute first-half. The Celtics connected on 57.1 percent of its field goals and 58.3 percent of their 3-pointers in the first half.

Leading the way in the first half was Lawrence Hill, with 11 points on 4-of-7 shooting. He hit three of his five 3-point attempts in the half. Olynyk and Omar Reed also chipped in 10 points apiece in the first half while Boston left Orlando in the dust.

Boston pulled ahead by as many as 29 points early in the third after a 7-0 run to start the second half. That spurt was highlighted by a nice and-one hook shot by Fab Melo, who finished the game with 11 points and five rebounds in less than 18 minutes of action.

Orlando trimmed Boston’s lead down to 81-69 with 7:47 remaining in the game. The Celtics, however, responded by scoring 14 of the game’s next 18 points, building their lead back to 95-74 with three minutes left.

Seven Celtics scored in double-figures. Mitchell led the team with 14 points, while Olynyk and Iverson each poured in 12. Phil Pressey was the only Boston starter who failed to score at least 10 points finishing with seven but earned his second straight game of double-digit assists with 10.

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Kelly Olynyk, Phil Pressey lead Celtics past Pacers in summer league 07.09.13 at 1:33 pm ET
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Kelly Olynyk tries to escape the defense of Miles Plumlee during Tuesday's game in Orlando. (AP)

Kelly Olynyk tries to escape the defense of Miles Plumlee during Tuesday’s summer league game in Orlando. (AP)

First-round draft pick Kelly Olynyk continued his strong play in the NBA Summer League in Orlando, accumulating 21 points, nine rebounds and four assists Tuesday to lead the Celtics to a 76-74 victory over the Pacers.

Olynyk, who is averaging 19.7 points through three games for the 2-1 Celtics, hit 9-of-19 shots and was a plus-15 in almost 30 minutes of action. Tony Mitchell added 15 points for Boston. Phil Pressey had 11 points, five assists and three steals, and he hit two free throws with 10 seconds left for the winning points.

Solomon Hill led the Pacers with 15 points.

The Celtics led by 11 at the half but allowed Indiana to tie the game at 74 with 38 seconds left on a 3-pointer by Donald Sloan that capped a 9-0 run. On the Celtics’ ensuing possession, Olynyk missed a hook shot in the paint.

Sloan then came up short on a drive as second-round pick Colton Iverson stepped in to cut off his path. Pressey, the son of former Celtics assistant coach Paul Pressey, grabbed the rebound and was fouled in the backcourt. He calmly sank both free throws to put the C’s back in front.

The Pacers had the final shot, but Sloan missed a wide-open 3-pointer at the buzzer that could have won it.

In addition to members of the Celtics front office and coaching staff, veteran forward Jeff Green was on hand to watch the game and came away with good feelings about Olynyk.

“He can play at a high level,” Green said in an interview with NBA TV after the game. “He can really move for a big guy. I’m impressed.”

Green added that he’s eager to prove he can succeed without Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, who have been traded to the Nets.

“It’s all about opportunity,” Green said. “And right now I definitely have the opportunity to showcase what I can do without those guys there. I’m looking forward to it. I’ve been working. I’ve been working hard to better my game in all aspects. So, I’m looking forward to the challenge I have upon me, and I’ll be ready.”

Green also had the opportunity to meet new coach Brad Stevens.

“We spoke today,” Green said. “We walked over to the gym today, had a great time picking his brain. Just a smart, smart guy. He loves the game. I think he’s looking forward to the challenge. College coaches coming in with the transition to the NBA, it’s going to be tough. But I think he’s up for the challenge. He’s going to do whatever it takes to make us better.”

The Celtics play again Wednesday at 3 p.m. vs. the Rockets, then they have a playoff game Friday to close out their week in Orlando.

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