Terry Rozier showing skill in practice, earning first big minutes of the season

Terry Rozier played 19 minutes for the Celtics on Friday against Washington after playing a combined eight minutes in the first four games of the season.  The rookie guard contributed five points and three assists in Boston's dominant 118-98 win over the previously 3-1 Wizards.

Judging by these recent comments by Brad Stevens, it seems like Rozier's sudden increase in playing time is a credit to his effort in practice:

"I thought he actually played a little bit tentative (Friday night) versus what he usually does", Stevens said.  "Like in practice, when the other four guys can't get down the court quick enough to get into our stuff because he's already down there."

Rozier's role on the Celtics this season had recently come into question when he recorded two consecutive DNP's against the Raptors and the Spurs last weekend.  Of course the recent Marcus Smart injury played a role in Terry breaking into the rotation, but his effort in practice since that loss to San Antonio last Sunday has clearly helped him to earn the trust of his coach.

He didn't have a spectacular game numbers wise on Friday (only 2-8 from the field) and, as Stevens said, he was tentative at times.

Despite the fact that his shots weren't falling, he still showed great effort on both ends of the floor.

According to his Twitter he got right back to work Saturday morning after the game:

It's unlikely that Smart will be out for long, so we'll have to wait and see how much his return affects Rozier's chance to make an impact.  Regardless, Terry is showing that he's talented and he's dedicated to improving his craft, so that's certainly a positive if you're a Celtics fan.

Follow Jack Bardsley on Twitter @BostonsBigFour

Photo Credit: Giuseppe Cacace/Getty via Boston Globe