Quantcast


A blowout like the one the Celtics suffered on Sunday night in Washington will usually cause some shakeup to the lineup. That 26-0 run in the middle of the third quarter in game 3 was an absolute abomination. Although Brad Stevens isn't likely to panic and make any rash changes, he admitted yesterday that he's leaning to leave the starting lineup intact, there's one change that could really benefit the Celtics - more minutes for Terry Rozier.

Rozier has been perhaps the most consistent player this postseason for the Celtics off the bench and has provided a shot of adrenaline on both ends of the floor just about every time he's been called upon. Even in the midst of Sunday's massacre at the hands of John Wall and Co Rozier managed to have a positive +/- in a game the Celtics lost by 19 points:


The Celtics have struggled to create offense all season without Isaiah Thomas on the floor, and while Rozier had some issues finishing around the basket earlier this year he definitely has improved in that department. Turnovers in that 3rd quarter on Sunday were the biggest proponent of that 26-0 Washington run, and when you turn the ball over against the Wizards they are one of the best teams in the NBA at running the fast break so it's just about the worst thing you can do.

Stevens noted the other day that the C's would be better suited "punting the ball out of bounds" rather than turning it over against the Wizards because at least then they could set their defense. I mention the turnovers beucause Rozier has only turned the ball over 3 times in 159 minutes on the floor this entire postseason. Compare that to Marcus Smart, the Celtics 6th man and the guy who generally runs the 2nd unit, who's turned the ball over 23 times in he 302 minutes he's been on the floor (via Basketball-Reference).

While Smart is known for his defense and intagibles the difference between the Celtics defensively with Smart vs Rozier on the floor these playoffs has been negligible. The Celtics defensive ratings with them are extremely close, 108 for Smart and 110 for Rozier per 100 possessions, the Celtics' offense falls off a cliff with Smart on the floor. The offensive rating when Marcus is on the floor is a 98 vs a 129 for Rozier. Even if you don't completely buy into advanced metrics you have to admit the difference there is staggering. Also of note, Rozier has had a significant impact on John Wall defensively:


Now I'm not suggesting that Marcus rides the bench. There's a lot of things he does well and he's one of those guy you definitely want on the floor at the end of games because he always comes through with big plays, particularly on the defensive side of the ball, but I'd certainly like to see the minutes between them more evenly distributed. While Smart is averaging over 30 minutes a game Rozier is seeing just under 18 minutes of floor time, and with the Celtics biggest areas of need being not turning the ball over and allowing the Wizards to get on the break as well as their achilles heel all season rebounding it would seem to me that going to Rozier more would be a no-brainer.

Rozier is one of the best rebounding guards in the NBA and he's been the Celtics 2nd best rebounder per 36 minutes (7.2) that's played at least 100 minutes in the postseason trailing only Al Horford who leads the team with 8.4 per. With Avery Bradley a little banged up heading into game 4 Brad Stevens might have to rely more on Rozier tonight anyway, but I'd really prefer seeing him running the 2nd unit over Smart.


Related: Something the C's did right Sunday night, a unique offense with IT in the 1st half

Photo credit - Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images

Follow Mark on Twitter: @MarkAL401

Mark Allison 5/10/2017 03:12:00 PM Edit
_________________________________________________________________________
« Prev Post Next Post »

Recent Posts
_______________________________________________________________________________________

comments powered by Disqus