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I remember when we drafted Terry. I didn't have quite the visceral reaction as some pundits did. That's probably because I don't follow college ball all that much. That said, I didn't like the pick either. I admit it, I wanted Sam Dekker.

I know, I know. But hey, that's why I sit behind a keyboard and why Danny Ainge picks the players, right?

Fast-forward three years. Terry Rozier III, stepping in the limelight and the starting lineup in replacement of superstar Kyrie Irving, has done what every basketball player who has the privilege of wearing Celtics green hopes to do: win over the crowd.

To be fair, Terry had Boston at "Drew Bledsoe," back in the first round.

Last night, he wined and dined us pre-game with his wardrobe choice.
Then, for dessert, facing a Philadelphia 76ers team most feel are a lock to make the Eastern Conference Finals, some even saying they're a shoe-in for the Finals, Terry led the Celtics attack, along with first-year-phenom Jayson Tatum and Al "Stop Saying He's Overpaid The Guy Does So Damn Much For Boston I Could Argue He's Underpaid" Horford to a dominant victory, 117-01.

 

Coming into Game 1 in Boston, Philly had been hot. They had only lost two games in the last couple months. Well, make that three. Some say Philly showed the rust of a team who only had to go five games in round one, whereas our beloved Boston Celtics went the seven-game distance with Giannis and his boys. Rest. Rust. Who cares? Bottom line is they evidently didn't do their homework on one Terry William Rozier III.
When Kyrie Irving was set to be sidelined for several weeks, we knew Terry could come in and hold down the fort. But when news broke that Kyrie's season was over, while we knew Rozier would step up, I think it's fair to say we didn't expect this much production.

Per basketball-reference.com, Terry is averaging these numbers (per game) in the 2018 playoffs: 

POINTS: 19 
REBOUNDS: 4.8 
ASSISTS: 6.6 
STEALS: 1.3 
BLOCKS: 0.6 
TURNOVERS: 1.6 
FG: 45% 
3PT: 44% 
eFG: 57% 
FT: 80% 

Terry Rozier? Given his Kyrie-like impression, I think it's fair to now call him Kyrie Rozier - or Terry Irving. Or how about Scary Uncle Terry?

Whatever you call him, you better know his name -- and recognize his game.

One thing to note: it's actually ironic that Terry was sporting Drew Bledsoe's jersey. As we Boston sports fanatics all recall, when Bledsoe (#11) went down, a certain young #12 / former 199th overall pick by the name of Brady stepped in his place and played brilliantly.


For us, #11 Kyrie Irving went down and #12 Rozier stepped in. Coincidence? Perhaps. Boston lore? Sure. Pretty freaking awesome? Absolutely.

Whatever you want to believe, Terry has done his best impression of Kyrie in his absence. The numbers support that notion in all aspects. Handling the ball with precision. Pin-point passing (most of the time). And clutch shot after clutch shot. I don't know the exact stats, but ever since Rozier added the "III" to the back of his jersey, it seems that his three-ball has become pretty automatic.

Did I mention he drives the lane with reckless, yet controlled abandon? Just like Kyrie. Terry is a much better rebounder though. In fact, he's one of the best rebounding guards in the league. 

Considering all the injuries the Celtics have faced this year, all the pressure is on Philly. Boston, in my opinion,  is playing with house money. And if I'm stepping to the table to place a bet, I'm putting my money on #12.

While the odds are typically III:I, he's proven to beat the house. And prove all 2015 NBA Draft pundits wrong too.

The Boston Celtics will face off against the still-in-the-process Philadelphia 76ers for Game 2 this Thursday in Boston.

Follow Edward Babaian on Twitter: @bojixbabaian

Photo Credit: Boston Globe; NFL.com

Edward Babaian 5/01/2018 06:50:00 PM Edit
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