With the Celtics banged up heading into last night's matchup with the Wizards, they needed a big contribution from the end of the bench if they were going to able to fend off Bradley Beal and Co. Jordan Mickey got his first NBA start, he played only 13 minutes and even though he didn't exactly ill the stat sheet he was able to step into Amir Johnson's role as a big body in the paint. He may have only blocked one shot, but he certainly altered enough of them in their to be a factor. However, the guy for me that really stepped up last night was Terry Rozier.
With both Avery Bradley and Jaylen Brown out there were plenty of minutes up for grabs off that Celtics bench, and Rozier did his best to sieze them. He scored 11 points on 4 of 6 from the field (2 of 3 from three) and snatched 4 rebounds to go along with them. Down the stretch Brad Stevens elected to stick with Rozier, as he played the entire 4th quarter, and finished the game with a team high +/-:
Terry Rozier was a game-high +19 tonight. Played the entire 4th quarter.— CelticsLife.com (@CelticsLife) January 12, 2017
Rozier had fallen out of the regular Celtics rotation in late December, after having a pretty big regular role to start the season. His minutes began to dwindle, and eventually a string of healthy-scratches clearly indicated that Terry had fallen out of favor with Stevens. Last night against Toronto he played a whopping 3 minutes, but tonight when they needed him he stepped up big time. Including this monster drive in the 2nd quarter:
Terry Rozier defies gravity for the and-one bucket! 💪 pic.twitter.com/rUShBE0Uk1— Boston Celtics (@celtics) January 12, 2017
We first saw flashes of what Rozier can become at the end of last season and into the playoffs, as Terry stepped in and played some big minutes when Bradley went down last year. Although the Celtics struggled against the Hawks, Rozier was able to showcase the things he can do on a basketball court. He's already one of the best rebounding point guards in the NBA, sitting at 3rd in the league in rebounds per 48 behind Russell Westbrook an dour old pal Rajon Rondo:
For a team so desperate for rebounds, Rozier could be certainly be helpful in that department if he can get back into Stevens good graces. Tonights big performance could go a long way to getting him back in the mix.
Photo Credit - Celtics.com/GETTY Images
Follow Mark on Twitter: @MarkAL401 Mark Allison 1/12/2017 10:51:00 AM Tweet Edit