Drafted 32nd overall by the Celtics in 2007, guard Gabe Pruitt shows he can play with the Big Three as the preseason comes to an end.
Sunday, the Celtics played New Jersey in their seventh preseason game, and Pruitt was given the chance to prove what he can do. Filling in for Rajon Rondo because of an ankle injury, Doc Rivers wanted to see how much depth he had at the point.
Gabe Pruitt, enter stage left. Playing with the Big Three, all Pruitt wanted to do was show Celtic fans that the team has another option besides Rondo.
“I think I showed I can play with the Big Three,” Pruitt said to no doubt the largest pack of reporters ever gathered around his locker. “That’s all I wanted to focus on and show, if you put me on the floor with them that I can take the team and move forward and it won’t be a step back for our team.”
Much like Rondo, Pruitt proved to be an all around point guard. That night he collected 11 points, 12 rebounds, and seven assists. The kid is human though, and while having a great night, Pruitt was a little careless with the ball at times, committing six turnovers, and making sloppy inbound passes. Playing at USC for three years, Pruitt averaged 13.8 points, three and a half assists, and three rebounds per game.
On the other side of it, Pruitt’s assignment was Devin Harris. In 23 minutes, Harris had four points on 0-8 shooting, and was forced to take step back jumpers. It was as simple as Pruitt keeping his back to the basket. Paul Pierce liked his defense as well. “What I’m most impressed about him was his defense,” Pierce said.
As for the future and what it holds for Pruitt, that is still unknown. It’s clear that he can play basketball, but the next step is coming to play this well day in and day out. If he can do this, then there should be no doubt in him backing up Rondo at the point.