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The Boston Celtics tried to move up in the 2015 NBA draft but "settled" for Louisville's Terry Rozier with the 16th pick. The reception of the choice by many Boston fans was not warm.

Apparently, even Terry was surprised at being chosen that early in the draft. He was, after all, viewed as a defensive guard with limited offensive ability.

Celtics fans wanted fireworks in the 2015 draft, and in their minds all they saw was an undersized defensive-minded player that would have trouble scoring at the NBA level.

According to the Boston Globe's Gary Washburn, about one-half of the season-ticket holders and attendees at the draft party bailed after the choice was made. CBS Boston's Matthew Geagan referred to the T-Ro pick as "a disappointing reach" by the Celtics.


So how about now? Scary Terry has been a starter for Boston in the playoffs. He is averaging 19 PPG in the post-season on 44% from the field, 42% on 3-pointers and 83% from the foul line. Doesn't sound like limited offensive skills to me.



In the playoffs, T-Ro is also averaging 5.2 RPG, 6.5 APG (with an astoundingly-low 1.3 TOPG) and a mere 1.6 fouls/game, really low for a guy that is such a lock-down defender. This is what Celtics Coach Brad Stevens had to say about the #16 pick in 2015 (per CBS Boston's Matthew Geagan):

The C’s coach stressed the need to defend against talented guards such as Kyrie Irving and Stephen Curry, and believes Rozier can step in and do just that.

“That’s an important couple of positions you better be able to guard. We feel really good about him,” he said. “He has the ability, physically and emotionally, and a drive that people will really appreciate.

“When people learn about him, he’s a guy people will be excited to see,” said Stevens. “He was a guy we thought would probably be available, but not much longer.”

Beyond the numbers, Terry worked his butt off this summer to improve his game, and it shows. He has become a reliable, and clutch, shooter from anywhere on the court. He has become an accomplished passer, and his ball-handling is superb. He can get into the paint and finish with authority. In other words, he has become a compete player, and a very good one. CBS Boston may want to re-think their grade.

Follow Tom at @TomLaneHC

Photo via Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Tom Lane 5/06/2018 02:19:00 PM Edit
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